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Memory, Memorialization, and Denial
The process of looking back on the Holocaust is one of a double nature: it can bring both enlightenment and a paralyzing pain, particularly for its survivors. This volume addresses the process of looking back, the challenges to understanding of unimaginable horrors that took place, and how academia, media, popular attitudes, and even judicial mind-sets handle that process. A collection of nineteen essays, this book is organized into four sections: the first focuses on how various fields of study can open new perspectives on the Holocaust and sharpen old ones; the second examines culture and politics in Germany before and after 1933; the third addresses the problems associated with the memorialization of those years; and the final section examines the shocking denials of the Holocaust.
Reflections on Religion, Justice, Sexuality, and G
In authoritative, nonpolemical essays on some of the latest and most contentious issues surrounding the Holocaust, the contributors to this volume revisit some topics central to Holocaust studies, such as the stance of the papacy and the concern about the uses to which the meaning of the Holocaust has been put, while expanding research into less-examined areas such as propriety, sexuality, and proximity. Variously concerned with issues of guilt and victimization, the essays examine individuals like Pius XII and Romano Guardini and the institutions of organized religion as well as the roles of the Jewish Councils and the retributive judicial proceedings in Hungary. They reveal that victimization within the Holocaust experience is surprisingly open-ended, with Jewish women doubly victimized by their gender; postwar Germans viewing themselves as the epoch's greatest victims; Poles, whether Jewish or not, victimized beyond others because of their proximity to the epicenter of the Holocaust; and German university students corrupted by ideological inculcation and racist propaganda. Though offering no "positive lessons" or comforting assurances, these essays add to the ongoing examination of Holocaust consequences and offer insightful analyses of facets previously minimized or neglected. Together they illustrate that matters of gender, sexuality, and proximity are crucial for shaping perceptions of a Holocaust reality that will always remain elusive.
The Holocaust and Justice
How can one link the Holocaust and justice, given the enormity of the Holocaust? Is justice even possible for a crime of such magnitude, and if so, what kind of justice? Weighing these questions and their implications, a group of distinguished scholars attempts to untangle the complex and often contradictory conjunction of the Holocaust and justice. Seeking a historical context, the contributors ask, What were the political, social, psychological, and ideological prerequisites for this tragedy? Considering the courts and trials both during and immediately after World War II, and recent cases against aging perpetrators, the contributors examine the legal circumstances for trying to provide justice, the dimming impact of passing time, and other issues that complicate litigation. Their inquiry extends to questions about memory--how it is shaped and reshaped and whether it can be reliable--and about the re-creation of events of the Holocaust by a second generation. Does reassembling the evidence through the lenses of a later generation provide a deeper understanding, and does this understanding include a sense of justice accomplished?
The Holocaust in International Perspective
As the discipline of Holocaust studies matures, new questions and themes come to the fore. Among these are critical issues that receive serious scholarly attention, often for the first time, in this collection of essays by some of the world's most respected experts in the field. Greed and theft as motives for Holocaust perpetrators and bystanders; sexual violence and what it tells us about the experiences of both victims and perpetrators; collaboration with Nazis among the local populations of the ever-moving Eastern front; the durability of anti-Semitism after 1945; and the perspectives of the Soviet military and Soviet leadership on Nazi crimes: these are some of the topics the authors address as they extend the boundaries of Holocaust scholarship beyond the central loci of the planning and execution of technologized mass murder--Germany and Poland--and into ghettos and killing fields in Ukraine and Belarus, as well as spaces whose boundaries and national identities changed repeatedly. The authors also look to Western Europe and consider the expropriation of Dutch Jews and the exigencies of post-Holocaust filmmaking in France; they draw insights from recent genocides such as those in Cambodia and Rwanda, and provide new critical analyses of the course and meaning of contested responses to the Shoah in nations and locations long and deeply studied. A thorough, thoughtful, and insightful introduction clarifies the volume's themes and concisely places them within the larger context of Holocaust scholarship; and an introductory essay by Omer Bartov brings into focus the numerous paradoxes structuring early twenty-first-century retrospective thinking about the significance of the Holocaust as a central theme of the twentieth century.
From Generation to Generation
Primo Levi opened his memoir Survival in Auschwitz with a call to remember, reflect upon, and teach about the Holocaust—or to face the rejection of subsequent generations. The transmittal of this urgent knowledge between generations was the theme of the eighth Lessons and Legacies Conference on the Holocaust, and it is the focus of this volume. The circular formulation—from generation to generation—points backward and forward: where do we locate the roots of the Holocaust, and how do its repercussions manifest themselves? The contributors address these questions from various perspectives—history, cultural studies, psychiatry, literature, and sociology. They also bring to bear the personal aspect of associated issues such as continuity and rupture. What has the generation of the Shoah passed on to its descendants? What have subsequent generations taken from these legacies? Contributions by scholars, some of whom are survivors and children of survivors, remind us that the Holocaust does—and must—remain present from generation to generation.
Memory, History, and Responsibility: Reassessments of the Holocaust, Implications for the Future
Memory, History, and Responsibility: Reassessments of the Holocaust, Implications for the Future contains the highlights from the ninth "Lessons and Legacies" conference. The conference, held during the height of the genocide in Darfur, sought to reexamine how the darkness of the Holocaust continues to shadow human existence more than sixty years after World War II left the Third Reich in ruins. The collection opens with Saul Friedländer’s call for interdisciplinary approaches to Holocaust research. The essays that follow draw on the latest methodologies in the fields of history, literature, philosophy, religion, film, and gender studies, among others. Together both the leading scholars of the Holocaust and the next generation of scholars engage the difficult reality—as raised by editors Petropoulos, Rapaport, and Roth in their introduction—that the legacies of the Holocaust have not proved sufficient in intervening against human-made mass death, let alone preventing or eliminating it.
Expanding Perspectives on the Holocaust in a Changing World
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926) was an avid letter writer, and more than seven thousand of his letters have survived. The best-known collection today is Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, first published in 1929. Two other letter collections appeared around the same time and gained high acclaim among readers yet are virtually unknown today. They are Letters to a Young Woman (1930) and Letters on God (1933).
A Commentary on Totality and Infinity
Historical and Critical Essays
Among modern philosophers, Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) has few rivals for his influence over the development of contemporary philosophy as a whole. While the issue of language has become a key fulcrum of continental philosophy since the twentieth century, Kant has been overlooked as a thinker whose breadth of insight has helped to spearhead this advance.
The Linguistic Dimension of Kant’s Thought remedies this historical gap by gathering new essays by distinguished Kant scholars. The chapters examine the many ways that Kant’s philosophy addresses the nature of language. Although language as a formal structure of thought and expression has always been part of the philosophical tradition, the “linguistic dimension” of these essays speaks to language more broadly as a practice including communication, exchange, and dialogue.