It is primarily concerned with the fate of POWs who could return to Germany, who must stand both before the rubble of their homeland and their possessions as well as before the rubble of their ideals and deal with it. American short stories served as a model for the authors of this epoch. The stylistic means employed were simple, direct language, which laconically described but did not evaluate the destroyed world, and a restriction, usual for short stories, of the space, narrated time, and characters. It is because of this simplification that this epoch is also named Kahlschlagliteratur ("clear-cutting literature").
The "Trümmerfilme" ("rubble films") that came out in the late 1940s (Die Mörder sind unter uns, In jenen Tagen, Film ohne Titel, Liebe 47, Und finden dereinst wir uns wieder, Razzia, among others)