restricted access Nazi Children, Christian Anti-Semitism, and the New Atheist in William Styron's Sophie's Choice

Traditional atheists believe that the loss of faith leads to melancholic mourning. New atheists, by contrast, consider the God-concept to be a hideous human invention, so they rejoice rather than mourn on the occasion of God's death. Sophie is a traditional atheist early in the novel Sophie's Choice, but she is a new atheist by the end. What leads to her transformation is her realization that Christianity made the Nazis believe that exterminating the Jews was a political necessity. She makes this discovery in a conversation with the eleven-year-old Emmi, the daughter of the Commandant of Auschwitz.