Goltermann traces the almost endless arguments in German psychiatry, compensation administrations, and courts about the long-term psychological effects of World War II on German soldiers. Based on extensive research not only in government archives and various publications but also on careful analysis of, and extensive quotations from, medical records, Goltermann explores a subject hitherto largely neglected in the literature about the war and about postwar Germany. She first appropriately reviews the decision to treat soldiers for what was often called “shell-shock” during World War I in military hospitals near the front instead of sending them home, as well as the assumption that good food and relaxation were adequate remedies for this psychological condition.

As it turned out, the many German prisoners of war who returned to a divided and heavily damaged Germany after World War II had far greater problems adjusting to life than did those discharged from the German...

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