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The Fallacy of Race and the Shoah

Naomi Kramer and Ronald Headland

Publication Year: 1998

Naomi Kramer and Ronald Headland to approach the universal issues that inevitably arise in discussing the Holocaust -- evil, courage, human dignity, moral responsibility and the existential qualities of humankind -- through individual experience. Consisting of two main parts, the book explores one individual's experience during the Shoah and the historical context in which these experiences occurred.

Published by: University of Ottawa Press

Front Matter

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Contents

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pp. ix-xi

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PREFACE

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pp. xiii-xx

How was it possible that two thirds of European Jewry was murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators? The answer to this question is beyond the scope of any one study, however this inquiry is at the core of all scholarship and teaching on the Shoah. My research and education about the Shoah is motivated by an attempt to come closer to an understanding of...

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FOREWORD

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pp. xxi-xxiii

There is a place in southern Ukraine where 23,000 Jews are buried. They are not buried in the type of cemetery that one would expect to find as the final resting place for several generations of residents and neighbouring villagers.This graveyard did not exist when I arrived with my father 56 years ago in the nearby town of Tluste. There is no peace or tranquillity...

ONE

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MUNKÁCS—JEWISH COMMUNAL LIFE

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pp. 3-20

My name is Dezider Kleinmann. My family and friends called me Dudi. I was born on 31 October 1925 in Kustanovice, a small village about an hour's walk from the city of Munk

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ANTISEMITISM ON THE RISE—HUNGARIAN OCCUPATION

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pp. 21-29

In 1938, there was a mobilization of the whole Czech army. My father was not drifted into the army but joined willingly. He felt a sense of duty and loyalty to his country Many members of our family had served in the Austro-Hungarian military. My mother thought my fathers priorities were askew. She was not shy to disagree with his decision. She claimed he was not an officer...

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MUNKÁCS GHETTO—JEWS ALONE

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pp. 31-37

Just after Passover, on 18 April 1944, the kehilla announced with posters and proclamations by drummers that all Jews must move into the ghetto. It was located in the Jewish section of the city and included Latorca, Munk

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DEPORTATION—FEAR AND HUMILIATION

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pp. 39-41

We were given two pails, one empty and one full of water. We did not know the intended use of the empty pail. After the train started moving and the water spilled, we poured from the water bucket into the empty bucket. Several hours later, having no alternative, men urinated through the slats of the cattle car. The resistance of the wind from the movement of the train...

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AUSCHWITZ—THE EVIL OF MAN

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pp. 43-50

We travelled two nights and three days, arriving at a place that, if we survived, we would never in our lives forget. I didn't know then where we were when the train began to slow down. I knew that it was not the usual stop for water: there were too many buildings and people. Through the slats in the wagon wall I saw that we were passing through a steel gate. They opened...

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GROSS-ROSEN—SLAVERY AND SCAVENGING

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pp. 51-65

Within a few minutes I was put on a cattle car with about 120 men. I was enveloped with a fear that words can only hint at: it was as if I had become the fear. My father was gone, my mother was gone, my sisters were gone. I had not seen my brother in four years. My community disappeared before my eyes. I was alone...

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DEATH MARCH—SUCCUMBING

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pp. 67-68

A few weeks after Yom Kippur, our morning routine changed; instead of the morning roll call, thousands of inmates were sent marching through the gates of Gross-Rosen. As we passed through the gate, our numbers were recorded again and we were given a blanket and ordered to march. As far forward and as far backward as I could see, there were men in files, five...

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FLOSSENBÜRG—THE INTERMINABLE VOID

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pp. 69-79

We marched through the gates and our numbers were marked down again. The blanket we had been given was taken back. This was another camp. My memory of this time is clouded but I recall myself and my clothes being disinfected.The structure of the camp was the same: barracks, gates, barbed wire, concrete posts, and an Appelplatz.This camp was larger than...

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MUSELMANN—THE LAST SELECTION

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pp. 81-83

In February of 1945, I was so weak I could no longer scratch the lice bites. They won. I was being eaten alive, my translucent skin stretched tightly over my bones. So transparent was this covering of flesh that I could actually see my bones. I was in a state of despair. One must be in communication with others to become oneself. There had been no friendly conversations...

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LIBERATION?—IMPRISONED IN MEMORY

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pp. 85-111

Liberation did not evoke a profound sense of freedom, nor was it an earth-shattering event. The camp was liberated from the reign of the Nazi terror.The inmates were not liberated in the sense we know the word.The term "liberation" implies a return to a previous condition, such as was the case with the emancipation of slaves in the United States. My life was forever...

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AFTERMATH—ANOTHER UNKNOWN WORLD

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pp. 113-122

In early 1948, my brother wrote to inform me that he had met a woman named Renee Engel, from Khust in the Carpathian region—a survivor who had relatives in Canada. He said that in all likelihood he would emigrate to that country, whose streets I thought were paved with gold. In May 1948, my sister called me from Liberec, frantically telling me that Joško was sick and...

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VISUALIZING MEMORY—A LAST DETAIL

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pp. 123-138

I recently returned from a trip to the commemorative events of the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Flossenb

MILLIONS

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JEWISH LIFE—PREWAR EUROPE

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pp. 141-154

Between 1939 and 1945, Germans, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, systematically murdered two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe.This heinous crime was accomplished by a wide variety of perpetrators, ranging from fanatic antisemitic racists to technocrats engulfed in a bureaucracy of destruction, from careerists and greedy opportunists to ordinary men...

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NAZI IDEOLOGY AND ANTISEMITISM—GERMANY

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pp. 155-168

The first Jews to be subjected to the weight of Nazi oppression were the Jews of Germany. From the late eighteenth century, the road to emancipation cf the German Jews had been linked to the rise of liberalism and democracy generally as well as the drive for the unification of Germany. In 1869, the North German Confederation passed a law granting Jews social...

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GHETTOS—IDENTIFICATION AND ISOLATION

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pp. 169-189

The beginning of World War II brought with it a totally different situation for the Jews of Europe. Under the mantle of war, with its heightened intensity and its daily routine of violence and destruction, it was much easier to radicalize and disguise anti-Jewish measures. Gone were the normal restraints of peacetime. Across Europe, the circumstances of the Jews...

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INSTITUTIONALIZED DISCRIMINATION—WESTERN AND SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE, 1939-1941

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pp. 191-202

Following the occupation of Poland, the German measures against Jews were immediate and powerful. The lives of Polish Jews were suddenly changed forever. For two years after the occupation and dismemberment of their country, Polish Jews were caught in a world of upheaval, humiliation, inhuman confinement, forced labour, starvation, and death.What happened...

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EINSATZGRUPPEN—FIRST ORGANIZED MASS MURDERS

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pp. 203-213

On 22 June 1941 the German armed forces attacked the Soviet Union. The decision to invade the Soviet Union preceded the actual German attack by about a year. As early as June 1940, after the unsuccessful attempts at bringing England to her knees, Hitler ordered his military leaders to begin preliminary planning for an attack on the Soviet Union.The reasoning...

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THE FINAL SOLUTION—DEPORTATIONS AND CAMPS

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pp. 215-280

The late spring and summer of 1941 was a turning point in European history. It was a pivotal moment in Nazi planning for the Jews. On 20 May 1941, one month before the German attack on the Soviet Union, instructions were sent to German military officials in France. These instructions stated that, according to a directive from Hermann G

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THE SHOAH IN CARPATHO-RUTHENIA/HUNGARY— THE END OF REPRIEVE

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pp. 281-296

Although the geographical area of Carpatho-Ruthenia has over time been divided and incorporated into several countries, the fate of the Jews of this region in the twentieth century has been intertwined principally with the history of two countries, Czechoslovakia and Hungary An area of great ethnic variety, this political, linguistic, and demographic richness has been reflected...

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DEATH MARCHES—FINAL ORGANIZED MASS MURDERS

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pp. 297-302

Although death marches are usually associated with the end of the war years, the Nazis used these cruel and torturous means of transporting prisoners from as early as October 1939, when the Germans expelled Jews on marches in an easterly direction from the annexed territory in Poland. By the end of 1939, thousands of Jews had been driven to the border of the...

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LIBERATION—MEMORY WITH CONSEQUENCE

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pp. 303-316

For those who perished while attempting to resist their oppressors there was no liberation. The subject of Jewish resistance and the Shoah is both delicate and polemic."There is no doubt that this issue touches a sensitive nerve in the Jewish consciousness, an unspoken assumption of which has been that Jewish resistance somehow validates Jewish...

GLOSSARY

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pp. 317-337

BIBLIOGRAPHY AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING

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pp. 339-348

INDEX

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pp. 349-359


E-ISBN-13: 9780776617121
E-ISBN-10: 0776617125
Print-ISBN-13: 9780776604763
Print-ISBN-10: 0776604767

Page Count: 384
Publication Year: 1998

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945).
  • Antisemitism -- Germany -- History.
  • Racism -- Germany -- History.
  • Jews -- Persecutions -- Germany -- History -- 20th century.
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