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Lieb, Felix (2019): Ein überschätztes Buch? Karl Jaspers und „Die Schuldfrage“. In: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, Vol. 67, No. 4

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Only a few months after the end of the Second World War, the philosopher Karl Jaspers proclaimed that "acceptance of the guilt [is] to be a fundamental trait of our German self-consciousness". Jaspers book "Die Schuldfrage" (The Question of German Guilt) published in 1946 and his differentiation between criminal, political, moral and metaphysical guilt formulated therein are to this day seen as contributions of the highest import towards the question of responsibility for the crimes of National Socialism. Based on the contemporary reactions, Felix Lieb can show that Jasper's book received very little notice in the post-war period. Additionally, the Germans saw his theses less as a call for admitting one's own guilt, but rather as a welcome instrument to deflect a supposed allegation of collective guilt.

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