The Day After: Rewriting the History of WW2, 1945-1950Semester Course

Major Discipline(s)
History, Philosophy, Political Science
Elective Course
Fall/Spring semester

What happens when the fighting stops?

This course begins the day after WW2 ended in Europe and focuses on the process of national myth-making. During the War, many people collaborated with Nazi rule while few resisted. After the war, liberated countries rewrote their wartime histories to promote a nationalist story of reluctant collaboration and widespread resistance. With remarkable speed, people adopted these national myths, and a strange type of collective amnesia took hold.

This course explores how France, Germany, and Poland transitioned from war to peace to myth in the period following WW2, before concluding with an in-depth investigation of how this same process occurred within Scandinavia.


Christopher Sparshott

DIS Copenhagen Semester Faculty

Ph.D. (Modern History, Northwestern University, 2007). MA (Modern History, Northwestern University, 2002). BA (Modern History, Oxford University, 2001). For two decades, I have taught courses in modern history at Northwestern University in the United States and Qatar in the Middle East. My teaching emphasises creative approaches to learning that builds bridges to the past. I am passionate about bringing history to life and introducing students to new places, people and ideas through innovative, student-focused pedagogy. Secretly, my goal is to turn all students into historians! In 2022 I joined DIS as a teaching and learning specialist in the Learning Lab and a faculty member in the European Humanities Department focusing on 20th Century Europe. Away from the classroom, I research and write about the American Revolution. I am fascinated by the minority of Americans who opposed independence and remained loyal to Britain. What motivated these doomed “loyalists” is at the centre of work. With DIS since 2022.