Abstract

This article points to the key role of the child victim in the representation of the Holocaust, especially in mainstream American life. Developing Peter Novick's claim that the Holocaust has been transformed into an "American memory," the author notes that virtually all breakthrough moments in non-Jewish American awareness of the Holocaust (The Diary of Anne Frank, Wiesel's Night, the NBC television movie Holocaust, Spielberg's Schindler's List, the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.) have highlighted the role of children, whose defenselessness serves as a metaphor for the general plight of Holocaust victims. While rhetorically effective, the figure of the child victim can also distort, personalize, and dehistoricize the Holocaust, providing a false sense of solidarity and understanding in mainstream American audiences.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2028
Print ISSN
0021-6704
Pages
pp. 1-22
Launched on MUSE
2008-06-14
Open Access
No
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