Monsters in the Mirror

Representations of Nazism in Post-War Popular Culture

by Sara Buttsworth and Maartje Abbenhuis, Editors


More than 60 years after the collapse of the Nazi regime, the symbols, mythologies, and themes of this disturbing era still pervade popular culture. Why are the trappings of Adolf Hitler's movement so fascinating, and what do they say about our society and how it has developed since 1945?

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Cover image for Monsters in the Mirror

August 2010


Pages 282
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics World History/Culture
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This collection provides readers with a comprehensive overview of postwar representations of Nazism in popular culture, documenting and critiquing their enormous impact and importance.

From Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator to the depiction of Nazis in the Raiders of the Lost Ark to other various literature, comic books, video games, television programs, and pop music, Nazism has maintained a constant presence in popular culture after World War II. Why are representations of Nazism—which are often used to depict the ultimate expression of human evil—so entrenched in our culture?

Each chapter in this book examines this multifaceted topic from different angles, highlighting the different incidences of Nazistic representations in the post-1945 period. The diverse subject matter in this text ranges from analysis of recent allo-historical novels, to the music of the "neo-folk" movement, to fetishes and pornography. Readers will gain insight on how the imagery and symbology of Nazism in popular culture has changed over time and understand how the disconnect between representations of Nazism and the historical record have developed, particularly with regard to the genocide that resulted from Nazi politics.


  • Includes images depicting Nazi-themed comics and magazine covers
  • Index of key terms define unfamiliar terms for general readers


  • Contains a unique, comprehensive collection of perspectives on Nazism in popular culture since 1945
  • Presents the viewpoints of an international array of distinguished and emerging scholars working in multidisciplinary fields on the centrality of Nazi myths, symbols, and representations in postwar popular culture
  • Examines Nazism in popular culture ranging from the pornographic to the profound, including novels, comics, films, and music
  • Offers a valuable set of readings to underpin undergraduate and postgraduate courses and research on the history and legacies of Nazism, Nazi Germany and the Holocaust
Author Info

Sara Buttsworth is senior tutor in the Department of History at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her published works include an edited collection on war and noncombatants and a monograph on gender and warfare. She is also a contributor to the Twilight and History collection.

Maartje Abbenhuis is senior lecturer in modern European history at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. She has published widely in the field of neutrality history, including on the Netherland in the First World War, and has worked on edited collections analyzing the role of war and noncombatants as well as Nazism in popular culture.



"In this edited volume, Buttsworth and Abbenhuis have successfully addressed a highly charged topic in scholarship:
representations of Nazism in modern popular culture. ...The many sources demonstrate the book's interdisciplinary character. Readers will find compelling analyses of everyday artifacts, such as comic books, television, and classroom curricula. Highly recommended."Choice

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