Gender And Sexuality Within Postwar German Cinema


Gender And Sexuality Within Postwar German Cinema


Publication Date


Document Type


Presentation Type



Kee-Yoon Nahm

Mentor Department

Theatre and Dance


Following World War II, Germany was suffering on many fronts. Besides the economic and political toll and fallout that the country had just endured due to the results of the war, Germany culture was also changing. Like many countries, women were able to escape their traditional gender roles during the war, and throughout that period, they gained more authority as well. When German male soldiers returned home, they had to confront this new authority and gender roles that the woman had possessed. This coupled with the feminization of the German males for being on the ‘losing’ side of the war helped lead to what is known as “The Crisis of Masculinity”. During this time, many in Germany responded by advocating for a new type of German masculinity which would link traditional gender roles and traditional notions regarding sexuality in a complex way to national pride and nationality. The 1957 German film, Different from You & Me by Veit Harlan helps to illustrate this period and the anxiety that surrounded postwar Germany. Using clips from the film as visual aid, this presentation will explore The Crisis of Masculinity, Sexuality, and Gendered Roles and their connection to Postwar German life.

Gender And Sexuality Within Postwar German Cinema