Kurt Gerstein entered the Waffen-SS in 1941 with the intention, he claimed, of sabotaging Nazi crimes. Gerstein insisted that although he would be required to participate in some criminal activities, he could be most effective as a resister if he were to remain in the SS. In this article, the author describes Gerstein's life and resistance activities and examines the evidence presented in and the results of three legal proceedings that took place following his death in 1945. All three of the proceedings grappled with the problem of judging Gerstein's actions, which simultaneously served and opposed a criminal regime. The author concludes with an assessment of how we should remember Gerstein's controversial life.
Jews -- Violence against -- Greece -- Thessalonike -- History -- 20th century.
Antisemitism -- Greece -- Thessalonike -- History -- 20th century.
Nationalism -- Greece -- Thessalonike -- History -- 20th century.
The antisemitic violence that took place in Salonica during the summer of 1931 constituted a defining moment not just for the city's Jewish community and relations between Jewish and non-Jewish Greeks, but also for the development of Greek nationalism. After the Greek military defeat of 1922 and the conclusion of the Lausanne Treaty of 1923, Salonica had become a battleground for the reconfiguration of Greek national identity. It was there that the problems of territorial insecurities, the influx of refugees from Anatolia, struggles between various ethnic, religious, and cultural groups, and the wider battle between Venizelism and its opponents played out. Antisemitism proved successful when it could be effectively aligned with these primary causes of social, political, and economic anxiety. Moreover, antisemitic movements in other European countries (primarily Hungary and Romania) set a precedent for the hyper-nationalist, anti-communist, and intensely xenophobic discourse of the period. But Greece was out of step with much of the rest of Europe in that 1931 represented the peak of antisemitic momentum in that country and not a step on the path to further escalation.
The German Democratic Republic never took the same responsibility for Holocaust memory as the Federal Republic of Germany. East Germans learned relatively little about the Holocaust thorough their popular culture. East Germans were less likely to identify the Holocaust as a critical piece of German history than West Germans, but by examining the muted narrative of the Holocaust that did appear on East German television, this article also shows how East Germans came to have a distinct collective memory of the Holocaust, notwithstanding their viewing of West German television. The following makes use of rarely cited viewer surveys, which offer unique insights into what East Germans thought about the programs they watched.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- United States -- History.
Many scholars depict the rise of Holocaust education in American public schools as a natural outgrowth of the overall rise in Holocaust consciousness. This consciousness, they believe, was spread through the activities of Jewish organizations and religious elites, as well as through television shows and events in popular culture. Although all of these factors were influential, the author believes that scholars tend to overlook the educational context in which the first teachers of the Holocaust worked. In this article, he presents evidence that the first teachers of the Holocaust—who introduced the subject in their schools during 1973-1975—were drawing upon an emerging body of educational and cognitive research. He then links this context explicitly to the design of three of the most influential Holocaust curricula in the country.