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Largely forgotten over the years, the seminal work of French poet, novelist and camp survivor Jean Cayrol has experienced a revival in the French-speaking world since his death in 2005. His concept of a concentrationary art-the need for an urgent and constant aesthetic resistance to the continuing effects of the concentrationary universe-proved to be a major influence for Hannah Arendt and other writers and theorists across a number of disciplines. Concentrationary Art presents the first translation into English of Jean Cayrol's key essays on the subject, as well as the first book-length study of how we might situate and elaborate his concept of a Lazarean aesthetic in cultural theory, literature, cinema, music and contemporary art.
2018 AABS Book Prize Winner 2018 Vine Award for Canadian Jewish Literature in Nonfiction When Julija Sukys was a child, her paternal grandfather, Anthony, rarely smiled, and her grandmother, Ona, spoke only in her native Lithuanian. But they still taught Sukys her family's story: that of a proud people forced from their homeland when the soldiers came. In mid-June 1941, three Red Army soldiers arrested Ona, forced her onto a cattle car, and sent her east to Siberia, where she spent seventeen years separated from her children and husband, working on a collective farm. The family story maintained that it was all a mistake. Anthony, whose name was on Stalin's list of enemies of the people, was accused of being a known and decorated anti-Bolshevik and Lithuanian nationalist. Some seventy years after these events, Sukys sat down to write about her grandparents and their survival of a twenty-five-year forced separation and subsequent reunion. Piecing the story together from letters, oral histories, audio recordings, and KGB documents, her research soon revealed a Holocaust-era secret-a family connection to the killing of seven hundred Jews in a small Lithuanian border town. According to KGB documents, the man in charge when those massacres took place was Anthony, Ona's husband. In Siberian Exile Sukys weaves together the two narratives: the story of Ona, noble exile and innocent victim, and that of Anthony, accused war criminal. She examines the stories that communities tell themselves and considers what happens when the stories we've been told all our lives suddenly and irrevocably change, and how forgiveness or grace operate across generations and across the barriers of life and death.
To forget after Auschwitz is considered barbaric. Baer and Sznaider question this assumption not only in regard to the Holocaust but to other political crimes as well. The duties of memory surrounding the Holocaust have spread around the globe and interacted with other narratives of victimization that demand equal treatment. Are there crimes that must be forgotten and others that should be remembered? In this book the authors examine the effects of a globalized Holocaust culture on the ways in which individuals and groups understand the moral and political significance of their respective histories of extreme political violence. Do such transnational memories facilitate or hamper the task of coming to terms with and overcoming divisive pasts? Taking Argentina, Spain and a number of sites in post-communist Europe as test cases, this book illustrates the transformation from a nationally oriented ethics to a trans-national one. The authors look at media, scholarly discourse, NGOs dealing with human rights and memory, museums and memorial sites, and examine how a new generation of memory activists revisits the past to construct a new future. Baer and Sznaider follow these attempts to manoeuvre between the duties of remembrance and the benefits of forgetting. This, the authors argue, is the "ethics of Never Again."
The White Terror was a movement of right-wing militias that for two years actively tracked down, tortured, and murdered members of the Jewish community, as well as former supporters of the short-lived Council Republic in the years following World War I. It can be argued that this example of a programme of virulent antisemitism laid the foundations for Hungarian participation in the Holocaust. Given the rightward shift of Hungarian politics today, this book has a particular resonance in re-examining the social and historical context of the White Terror.
The Holocaust, Corporations, and the Law explores the challenge posed by the Holocaust to legal and political thought by examining the issues raised by the restitution class action suits brought against Swiss banks and German corporations before American federal courts in the 1990s. Although the suits were settled for unprecedented amounts of money, the defendants did not formally assume any legal responsibility. Thus, the lawsuits were bitterly criticized by lawyers for betraying justice and by historians for distorting history. Leora Bilsky argues class action litigation and settlement offer a mode of accountability well suited to addressing the bureaucratic nature of business involvement in atrocities. Prior to these lawsuits, legal treatment of the Holocaust was dominated by criminal law and its individualistic assumptions, consistently failing to relate to the structural aspects of Nazi crimes. Engaging critically with contemporary debates about corporate responsibility for human rights violations and assumptions about ""law,"" she argues for the need to design processes that make multinational corporations accountable, and examines the implications for transitional justice, the relationship between law and history, and for community and representation in a post-national world. In an era when corporations are ever more powerful and international, Bilsky's arguments will attract attention beyond those interested in the Holocaust and its long shadow.
Two of Germany's most provocative investigative historians examine the frightening role of young educated careerists in building the Holocaust's ideological and material infrastructure. Moving from the waning Weimar Republic to Auschwitz's fully operating gas chambers, "Architects of Annihilation" shows how the unthinkable technocratic "solutions" to Germany's wartime problems were not only thought but spelled out and implemented. Documenting the eager participation of some of the country's best and brightest, it rejects interpretations that identify only Nazi leaders as the perpetrators of the Holocaust.
For Hitler's thinkers--career-minded demographers, geographers, economists, civil servants, and academics in the Third Reich's think tanks and bureaucratic offices--Europe was a drawing board on which to work out their grand designs. They were encouraged to rationalize production methods, standardize products, introduce an international division of labor, and modernize and simplify social structures. Ultimately, their work on everything from food shortages to birth control led to the sinister plan to "adjust" the ratio between "productive" or "unproductive" population groups.
The ideas of these ever more radical and ideologically aggressive technocrats culminated in proposals that--using carefully guarded scientific and academic euphemisms--advocated state-directed mass extermination as a necessary and logical component of social modernization. And, not well known outside of Germany, these thinkers proposed not only one "final solution" but serial genocides, planned in detail to be carried out over several decades.
This groundbreaking and controversial account of Hitler's planners received widespread attention when it appeared in Germany. Now a masterful translation makes it available to an English-speaking audience for the first time.
This unique volume critically discusses the works of fifty of the most influential scholars involved in the study of the Holocaust and genocide. Studying each scholar 's background and influences, the authors examine the ways in which their major works have been received by critics and supporters, and analyse each thinker 's contributions to the field. Key figures discussed range from historians and philosophers, to theologians, anthropologists, art historians and sociologists, including:
A thoughtful collection of groundbreaking thinkers, this book is an ideal resource for academics, students, and all those interested in both the emerging and rapidly evolving field of Genocide Studies and the established field of Holocaust Studies.
The prevailing image of European Jews during the Holocaust is one of helpless victims, but in fact many Jews struggled against the terrors of the Third Reich. In Defiance, Nechama Tec offers a riveting history of one such group, a forest community in western Belorussia that would number more than 1,200 Jews by 1944-the largest armed rescue operation of Jews by Jews in World War II. Tec reveals that this extraordinary community included both men and women, some with weapons, but mostly unarmed, ranging from infants to the elderly. She reconstructs for the first time the amazing details of how these partisans and their families-hungry, exposed to the harsh winter weather-managed not only to survive, but to offer protection to all Jewish fugitives who could find their way to them. Arguing that this success would have been unthinkable without the vision of one man, Tec offers penetrating insight into the group's commander, Tuvia Bielski. Tec brings to light the untold story of Bielski's struggle as a partisan who lost his parents, wife, and two brothers to the Nazis, yet never wavered in his conviction that it was more important to save one Jew than to kill twenty Germans. She shows how, under Bielski's guidance, the partisans smuggled Jews out of heavily guarded ghettos, scouted the roads for fugitives, and led retaliatory raids against Belorussian peasants who collaborated with the Nazis. Herself a Holocaust survivor, Nechama Tec here draws on wide-ranging research and never before published interviews with surviving partisans-including Tuvia Bielski himself-to reconstruct here the poignant and unforgettable story of those who chose to fight. "The saga of the Bielski partisans is one of the most elevating and inspiring stories in the chronicle of death and despair that is the Holocaust.... Defiance is an accomplished and startling work of Holocaust documentation." -Los Angeles Times "Powerful and meticulous. This story is like almost no other." -Leon Wieseltier, The New Republic
Surviving the Holocaust is a compelling sociological account of two brothers who survived the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Poland. One brother, the author s father, endured several concentration camps, including the infamous camp at Auschwitz, as well as a horrific winter death march; while the other brother, the author s uncle, survived outside the camps by passing as a Catholic among anti-Semitic Poles, including a group of anti-Nazi Polish Partisans, eventually becoming an officer in the Soviet army.
As an exemplary "theorized life history," Surviving the Holocaust applies concepts from life course theory to interpret the trajectories of the brothers lives, enhancing this approach with insights from agency-structure and collective memory theory. Challenging the conventional wisdom that survival was simply a matter of luck, it highlights the prewar experiences, agentive decision-making and risk-taking, and collective networks that helped the brothers elude the death grip of the Nazi regime. Surviving the Holocaust also shows how one family s memory of the Holocaust is commingled with the memories of larger collectivities, including nations-states and their institutions, and how the memories of individual survivors are infused with collective symbolic meaning.
Surviving the Holocaust is a compelling sociological account of two brothers who survived the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Poland. One brother, the author's father, endured several concentration camps, including the infamous camp at Auschwitz, as well as a horrific winter death march; while the other brother, the author's uncle, survived outside the camps by passing as a Catholic among anti-Semitic Poles, including a group of anti-Nazi Polish Partisans, eventually becoming an officer in the Soviet army.
As an exemplary "theorized life history," Surviving the Holocaust applies concepts from life course theory to interpret the trajectories of the brothers' lives, enhancing this approach with insights from agency-structure and collective memory theory. Challenging the conventional wisdom that survival was simply a matter of luck, it highlights the prewar experiences, agentive decision-making and risk-taking, and collective networks that helped the brothers elude the death grip of the Nazi regime. Surviving the Holocaust also shows how one family's memory of the Holocaust is commingled with the memories of larger collectivities, including nations-states and their institutions, and how the memories of individual survivors are infused with collective symbolic meaning.
The Holocaust is a pervasive presence in British culture and society. Schools have been legally required to deliver Holocaust education, the government helps to fund student visits to Auschwitz, the Imperial War Museum's permanent Holocaust Exhibition has attracted millions of visitors, and Britain has an annually commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day. What has prompted this development, how has it unfolded, and why has it happened now? How does it relate to Britain's post-war history, its contemporary concerns, and the wider "globalisation" of Holocaust memory? What are the multiple shapes that British Holocaust consciousness assumes and the consequences of their rapid emergence? Why have the so-called "lessons" of the Holocaust enjoyed such popularity in Britain? Through analysis of changing engagements with the Holocaust in political, cultural and memorial landscapes over the past generation, this book addresses these questions, demonstrating the complexities of Holocaust consciousness and reflecting on the contrasting ways that history is used in Britain today.
What, exactly, does one mean when idealizing tolerance as a solution to cultural conflict? This book examines a wide range of young adult texts, both fiction and memoir, representing the experiences of young adults during WWII and the Holocaust. Author Rachel Dean-Ruzicka argues for a progressive reading of this literature. Tolerance Discourse and Young Adult Holocaust Literature contests the modern discourse of tolerance, encouraging educators and readers to more deeply engage with difference and identity when studying Holocaust texts. Young adult Holocaust literature is an important nexus for examining issues of identity and difference because it directly confronts systems of power, privilege, and personhood. The text delves into the wealth of material available and examines over forty books written for young readers on the Holocaust and, in the last chapter, neo-Nazism. The book also looks at representations of non-Jewish victims, such as the Romani, the disabled, and homosexuals. In addition to critical analysis of the texts, each chapter reads the discourses of tolerance and cosmopolitanism against present-day cultural contexts: ongoing debates regarding multicultural education, gay and lesbian rights, and neo-Nazi activities. The book addresses essential questions of tolerance and toleration that have not been otherwise considered in Holocaust studies or cultural studies of children's literature.
That Gad Beck, a Jew in the Berlin of Nazi Germany, lived through the Holocaust at all is surprising. The fact that he lived it as a homosexual Jew who spent the entire war funnelling food, money and clothing to hidden Jews and helping smuggle others out of the country is amazing. It was love that gave him both the impetus and the strength to fight. The rise of National Socialism was tearing his family apart, destroying his school, thwarting his dream of emigration to Israel. Then the Nazis came for Manfred Lewin, Beck's first love, and for his family. Gad's love for Manfred gave him the courage to don a three-sizes-too-large Hitler Youth uniform, march into the transit camp where the Lewins were being held, and demand - and obtain, to his astonishment - the release of his lover. But Manfred would not leave without his family, and so went back into the camp. The Lewins did not survive. Coming of age as a gay man during the war and maintaining a series of romantic relationships while carrying on his resistance work, Beck reveals a tenacity and irrepressible spirit that is his real legacy. His determination to keep loving, living and believing in every human possibility without compromise - even in the face of the unthinkably monstrous - makes this quite a different story of the Holocaust.
In 1932, Franklin Delano Roosevelt became President. Over the next twelve years, he instilled confidence in a nation once mired in fear. The Jews of America revered Roosevelt, and from an early age, Robert Beir regarded him as a hero. In mid-life, however, Beir undertook a historian's quest regarding Roosevelt's record during the Holocaust. How much did Roosevelt know about the Holocaust and what could he have done?
The Coming of the Holocaust aims to help readers understand the circumstances that made the Holocaust possible. Peter Kenez demonstrates that the occurrence of the Holocaust was not predetermined as a result of modern history but instead was the result of contingencies. He shows that three preconditions had to exist for the genocide to take place: modern anti-Semitism, meaning Jews had to become economically and culturally successful in the post French Revolution world to arouse fear rather than contempt; an extremist group possessing a deeply held, irrational, and profoundly inhumane worldview had to take control of the machinery of a powerful modern state; and the context of a major war with mass killings. The book also discusses the correlations between social and historical differences in individual countries regarding the success of the Germans in their effort to exterminate Jews.
A History of Modern Germany is a well-established text that presents a balanced survey of the last 150 years of German history, stretching from nineteenth-century imperial Germany, through political division and reunification, and into the present day. Beginning in the early 1870s and covering topics such as Wilhelmenian Germany, the World Wars, revolution, inflation and putsches, the Weimar Republic, the Federal Republic and the German Democratic Republic, the book offers a comprehensive overview of the entire period of modern German history. Fully updated throughout, this new edition details foreign policy, political and economic history and includes increased coverage of social and cultural history, and history 'from the bottom up', as well as containing a new chapter that brings it right up to the present day. The book is supported by full discussion of past and present historiographic debates, illustrations, maps, further readings and biographies of key German political, economic and cultural figures within the Im Mittelpunkt feature. Fully exploring the complicated path of Germany's troubled past and stable present, A History of Modern Germany provides the perfect grounding for all students of German history.
The notorious concentration camp system was a central pillar of the Third Reich, supporting the Nazi war against political, racial and social outsiders whilst also intimidating the population at large. Established during the first months of the Nazi dictatorship in 1933, several million men, women and children of many nationalities had been incarcerated in the camps by the end of the Second World War. At least two million lost their lives. This comprehensive volume offers the first overview of the recent scholarship that has changed the way the camps are studied over the last two decades. Written by an international team of experts, the book covers such topics as the earliest camps; social life, work and personnel in the camps; the public face of the camps; issues of gender and commemoration; and the relationship between concentration camps and the Final Solution. The book provides a comprehensive introduction to the current historiography of the camps, highlighting the key conclusions that have been made, commenting on continuing areas of debate, and suggesting possible directions for future research.
A prominent Viennese psychiatrist before the war, Viktor Frankl was uniquely able to observe the way that both he and others in Auschwitz coped (or didn't) with the experience. He noticed that it was the men who comforted others and who gave away their last piece of bread who survived the longest - and who offered proof that everything can be taken away from us except the ability to choose our attitude in any given set of circumstances. The sort of person the concentration camp prisoner became was the result of an inner decision and not of camp influences alone. Only those who allowed their inner hold on their moral and spiritual selves to subside eventually fell victim to the camp's degenerating influence - while those who made a victory of those experiences turned them into an inner triumph. Frankl came to believe man's deepest desire is to search for meaning and purpose. This outstanding work offers us all a way to transcend suffering and find significance in the art of living.
This invaluable work traces the role of the Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and SD, the core group of Himmler's murder units involved in the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question," during and immediately after the German campaign in Poland in 1939. In addition to relevant Einsatzgruppen reports, the book includes key documents from other sources, especially eyewitness accounts from victims or onlookers. Such accounts provide an alternative, often much more realistic, perspective on the nature and consequences of the actions previously known only through documentation generated by the perpetrators. With carefully selected primary sources contextualized by the authors' clear narrative, this work fills an important gap in our understanding of a crucial period in the evolution of policies directed against Jews, Poles, and others deemed dangerous or inferior by the Third Reich. Supplemented by maps and photographs, this book will be an essential reference and research tool.
The Arab-Israeli conflict goes far beyond the wars waged on Middle East battlefields. There is also a war of narratives revolving around the two defining traumas of the conflict: the Holocaust and the Nakba. One side is charged with Holocaust denial, the other with exploiting a tragedy while denying the tragedies of others. In this path-breaking book, political scientist Gilbert Achcar explores these conflicting narratives and considers their role in today's Middle East dispute. He analyzes the various Arab responses to the Holocaust, from the earliest intimations of the genocide, through the creation of Israel and the occupation of Palestine, and up to our own time, critically assessing the political and historical context for these responses. Achcar offers a unique ideological mapping of the Arab world, in the process defusing an international propaganda war that has become a major stumbling block in the path of Arab-Western understanding.
Between the French defeat in 1940 and liberation in 1944, the Nazis killed almost 80,000 of France's Jews, both French and foreign. Since that time, this tragedy has been well-documented. But there are other stories hidden within it--ones neglected by historians. In fact, 75% of France's Jews escaped the extermination, while 45% of the Jews of Belgium perished, and in the Netherlands only 20% survived. The Nazis were determined to destroy the Jews across Europe, and the Vichy regime collaborated in their deportation from France. So what is the meaning of this French exception? Jacques Semelin sheds light on this 'French enigma', painting a radically unfamiliar view of occupied France. His is a rich, even-handed portrait of a complex and changing society, one where helping and informing on one's neighbours went hand in hand; and where small gestures of solidarity sat comfortably with anti-Semitism. Without shying away from the horror of the Holocaust's crimes, this seminal work adds a fresh perspective to our history of the Second World War.
SS Kommandant Rudolph Hoss (1900-1947) was history's greatest mass murderer, personally supervising the extermination of approximately two million people, mostly Jews, at the death camp in Auschwitz, Poland. "Death Dealer" is a new, unexpurgated translation of Hoss's autobiography, written before, during, and after his trial. This edition includes rare photos, the minutes of the Wannsee Conference (where the Final Solution was decided and coordinated), original diagrams of the camps, a detailed chronology of important events at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Hoss's final letters to his family, and a new foreword by Auschwitz survivor Primo Levi. "Death Dealer" stands as one of the most important--and chilling--documents of the Holocaust.
On 8 March 1941, a 27-year-old Jewish Dutch student living in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam made the first entry in a diary that was to become one of the most remarkable documents to emerge from the Nazi Holocaust. Over the course of the next two and a half years, an insecure, chaotic and troubled young woman was transformed into someone who inspired those with whom she shared the suffering of the transit camp at Westerbork and with whom she eventually perished at Auschwitz. Through her diary and letters, she continues to inspire those whose lives she has touched since. She was an extraordinarily alive and vivid young woman who shaped and lived a spirituality of hope in the darkest period of the twentieth century. This book explores Etty Hillesum's life and writings, seeking to understand what it was about her that was so remarkable, how her journey developed, how her spirituality was shaped, and what her profound reflections on the roots of violence and the nature of evil can teach us today.
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