Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-x

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Foreword

Theodore Zev Weiss

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pp. xi-xii

This volume presents selected scholarly papers from the twelfth Lessons and Legacies Conference on the Holocaust, held at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, in November 2012. I am extremely grateful to Wendy Lower from Claremont McKenna College and Alan Berger from Florida Atlantic University, who chaired the conference, for their hard work and devotion to ensure its success...

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Introduction

Wendy Lower, Lauren Faulkner Rossi

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pp. xiii-xxii

In a previous volume in this series, distinguished historian Omer Bartov confronted the challenge of how to teach the Holocaust in an era that is increasingly consumed with the broader study of genocide. He asserted that the two fields of study need not be incompatible, that studying the Holocaust should not inhibit a deeper understanding of genocide in general, and that genocide studies...

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Opportunistic Killings and Plunder of Jews by Their Neighbors—a Norm or an Exception in German-Occupied Europe?

Jan T. Gross

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pp. 3-30

I would like to shed light in this essay on the phenomenon of killings and plunder of Jews by local people in German- occupied Poland—crimes that occurred on the periphery of the Holocaust. The number of Jewish victims was only a small fraction of the total killed by the Nazis and their collaborators. The loot that remained in local hands (primarily housing)—though not equally insignificant

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The Obscenity of Objectivity: Post-Holocaust Antisemitism and the Invention of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Dagmar Herzog

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pp. 31-64

The concept of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) entered the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1980. This essay concerns the fraught prehistory of the category— one involving both invention and discovery.1 Most scholarly accounts of the evolution of the PTSD concept go back to railroad and industrial accidents at the turn from the nineteenth...

I. New Cultural Approaches to the Holocaust

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Rumors in the Ghettos: A Case Study of Cultural History

Amos Goldberg

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pp. 65-86

How should the history of Jews in the Holocaust be written? From what perspective? How should its main object of research be defined, and what should its focal point be? Historians and scholars have asked these fundamental questions since the very beginning of the field of Holocaust studies and actually already during World War II.1 In this short essay...

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I Am (Not) to Blame: Intent and Agency in Personal Accounts of the Holocaust

Doris L. Bergen

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pp. 87-107

Constructs of intent and agency have become conventions in the field of Holocaust studies. Influenced by legal frameworks, intent provides a way to home in on the most frequently asked question about the killers: why did they do it? Meanwhile, efforts to integrate Jewish sources encourage a focus on victims’ agency,1 often expressed in terms of survival strategies...

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“To Encompass the Unseeable”: Foreign Film, Taste Culture, and the American Encounter with the Postwar Holocaust Film

Steven Alan Carr

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pp. 108-124

This paper takes a reception-based approach to consider one of the first fictional feature films screened in the United States to depict the Holocaust, and how these early films might have initially shaped audience expectations for subsequent cinematic depictions of genocide and Nazi atrocities. In particular, this essay examines the role of New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther...

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A World without Jews: Nazi Imagination from Persecution to Genocide

Alon Confino

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pp. 125-138

I summon from the historical record a scene, an experience that was as exhilarating as it was marked by an intense combination of audacity and transgression. By fire and other means, a festive, expressive destruction of the Hebrew Bible was at the center of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, when on November 9, 1938, more than 1,400 synagogues were set on fire in Nazi Germany...

II. Contemporary Controversies and Their Historical Origins

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Former Ukrainian Policemen in the Ukrainian National Insurgency: Continuing the Holocaust outside German Service

John-Paul Himka

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pp. 139-163

World War II, with its tremendous violence and massive scale, unleashed many smaller conflicts fought alongside it and within it, in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. Political movements that represented none of the principal protagonists of the war made use of the militarization and disruption of society and the diffusion of weapons to pursue their own agendas of political, territorial, and ethnic transformation...

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The SNCF Affair: Cheminots in the Divided Memories of Vichy France

Ludivine Broch

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pp. 164-189

Even before the allies entered Paris on August 25, 1944, the French were already building a grand narrative of their experience of World War II and, more importantly, of the German occupation: all French people had resisted the German occupier, and the French had liberated themselves.1 The myth of the French Resistance was captured in one of the biggest postwar blockbusters...

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Keep Your Distance: “Ethical Duplicity” and the Holocaust

Mark Joel Webber

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pp. 190-212

Contemporary discussions of the ethical questions arising from the Holocaust properly emphasize the importance of acknowledging the victims’ dignity and agency, of empathizing with them without appropriating their identity and voice.1 This means neither looking away from, nor overidentifying with, the victims. In Emmanuel Levinas’s analysis, non-indifference to others...

III. Recovery and Loss

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Khurbn Yiddish: An Absent Absence

Perla Sneh

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pp. 213-231

Let us start with an absence, the absence of Yiddish in what is called “Holocaust studies.” By Yiddish I mean not just the everyday language in which most of the Jews annihilated by the Nazis lived and died, but an ideological, political, and cultural core of Judaism at the time. Yiddish is absent from Holocaust studies not only as a language but also as a particularly tragic story that, even though ignored...

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The First Returnees: Holocaust Survivors in Vienna in the Immediate Postwar Period

Elizabeth Anthony

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pp. 232-255

Relatively few Holocaust survivors returned to Vienna after more than seven years of Nazi persecution that included the plunder, forced emigration, and mass murder of the Austrian Jewish community. Some 130,000 Austrian Jews had fled the Nazi regime,1 which murdered more than 65,000 of their coreligionists.2 The formal Jewish community, once more than 185,000 strong, counted fewer...

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The Dispersal and Oblivion of the Ashes and Bones of Babi Yar

Karel C. Berkhoff

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pp. 256-276

On September 29 and 30, 1941, on the western outskirts of Kiev in what was then the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, at the ravine of Babi Yar (Old Women’s Ravine), the largest single Nazi shooting of Jews in the Soviet Union took place. In 1943, the Nazis supervised the burning of most of the bones of the murder victims and the dispersal of the ashes. After the Red Army returned at the end...

IV. The Holocaust and Social History: Gender and the Family

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Jewish Girls in Catholic Schools in Nazi Germany, 1933–1938

Martina Cucchiara

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pp. 277-303

In Nazi Germany, antisemitism in public schools was often vicious. Martha Padawer was ten years old in 1934, and she attended a public secondary school in Dortmund, Germany. She recalled that “the trauma started then ... [On] the first day of school I was called out by the teacher in front of the class ... The teacher said, ‘This is a dirty Jew and you are not allowed to associate with her...

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Daily Survival: Social History of Jews in Family Bunkers in Eastern Galicia

Natalia Aleksiun

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pp. 304-331

In March 1944, shortly before he was liberated together with his brother-in-law, Baruch Milch summed up his experiences of hiding from the Nazis, writing in his diary: “I’ve been here nine months already ... During this time I have killed about a thousand lice, filled about 500 bottles of urine, sweated ten liters, wept two liters of tears, and lost three of my teeth. I have written with a liter of blood...

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Secretaries, Secrets, and Genocide: Evidence from the Postwar Investigations of the Female Secretaries of the RSHA

Rachel Century

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pp. 332-356

The women of Nazi Germany have been the subject of numerous studies, partly as the result of growing interest in questions of coercion and consent. My new research on German secretaries in Heinrich Himmler’s offices suggests an important case for exploring new interpretations of complicity and its gendered roles. Working in a variety of departments, the many female secretaries...

V. Reconsidering Perpetrators

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Hitler’s Ostkrieg and the Indian Wars: Comparing Military Strategies of Conquest and Annihilation

Edward B. Westermann

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pp. 357-380

A recent trend in the historiography of Germany involves the transnational comparison of Germany’s experience as reflected in or influenced by historical, philosophical, or political forces in the United States. For example, Jens-Uwe Guettel’s analysis of the longue durée (long duration) of U.S.-German relations reveals the ways by which the United States and the concept of...

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Intrigues and Conflicts of Interest as to the Exploitation of Jewish Labor in Radom, 1942–1943

Idit Gil

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pp. 381-405

On the night of August 4-5, 1942, the Nazis liquidated the Glinice ghetto in Radom, Poland, and sent about 6,000 Radom inhabitants to Treblinka. That day, Oberquartiermeister (head quartermaster) Albert Forster, the officer in charge of army supply in the General Government, sent an angry telegram to the military command in Kraków. The General Government was a territorial unit...

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Not “How Was It Possible,” but “Who Made It Possible”: The Topic of Perpetrators in Holocaust Education in Austria

Lukas Meissel

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pp. 406-428

The following essay focuses on the topic of Nazi perpetrators by questioning the roles of guilt and responsibility in Austrian Holocaust education. Contemporary approaches toward the teaching of Nazi crimes will be analyzed, drawing from firsthand experience as an educator in various contemporary history projects and as a tour guide at the Mauthausen Memorial, the museum...

Notes on Contributors

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pp. 429-433