Description : Conventional wisdom holds that Jews killed in Poland immediately after World War II were victims of ubiquitous Polish anti-Semitism. This book traces the roots of Polish-Jewish conflict after the war, demonstrating that it was a two-sided phenomenon and not simply an extension of the Holocaust.
Description : For the last decade scholars have been questioning the idea that the Holocaust was not talked about in any way until well into the 1970s. After the Holocaust: Challenging the Myth of Silence is the first collection of authoritative, original scholarship to expose a serious misreading of the past on which, controversially, the claims for a ‘Holocaust industry’ rest. Taking an international approach this bold new book exposes the myth and opens the way for a sweeping reassessment of Jewish life in the postwar era, a life lived in the pervasive, shared awareness that Jews had narrowly survived a catastrophe that had engulfed humanity as a whole but claimed two-thirds of their number. The chapters include: an overview of the efforts by survivor historians and memoir writers to inform the world of the catastrophe that had befallen the Jews of Europe an evaluation of the work of survivor-historians and memoir writers new light on the Jewish historical commissions and the Jewish documentation centres studies of David Boder, a Russian born psychologist who recorded searing interviews with survivors, and the work of philosophers, social thinkers and theologians theatrical productions by survivors and the first films on the theme made in Hollywood how the Holocaust had an impact on the everyday life of Jews in the USA and a discussion of the different types, and meanings, of ‘silence’. A breakthrough volume in the debate about the ‘Myth of Silence’, this is a must for all students of Holocaust and genocide.
Description : This collection of essays explores the character and quality of the Holocaust’s impact and the abiding legacy it has left for social theory. The premise which informs the contributions is that, ten years after its publication, Zygmunt Bauman’s claim that social theory has either failed to address the Holocaust or protected itself from its implications remains true.
Description : Can we remember other people's memories? The Generation of Postmemory argues we can: that memories of traumatic events live on to mark the lives of those who were not there to experience them. Children of survivors and their contemporaries inherit catastrophic histories not through direct recollection but through haunting postmemories multiply mediated images, objects, stories, behaviors, and affects passed down within the family and the culture at large. In these new and revised critical readings of the literary and visual legacies of the Holocaust and other, related sites of memory, Marianne Hirsch builds on her influential concept of postmemory. The book's chapters, two of which were written collaboratively with the historian Leo Spitzer, engage the work of postgeneration artists and writers such as Art Spiegelman, W.G. Sebald, Eva Hoffman, Tatana Kellner, Muriel Hasbun, Anne Karpff, Lily Brett, Lorie Novak, David Levinthal, Nancy Spero and Susan Meiselas. Grappling with the ethics of empathy and identification, these artists attempt to forge a creative postmemorial aesthetic that reanimates the past without appropriating it. In her analyses of their fractured texts, Hirsch locates the roots of the familial and affiliative practices of postmemory in feminism and other movements for social change. Using feminist critical strategies to connect past and present, words and images, and memory and gender, she brings the entangled strands of disparate traumatic histories into more intimate contact. With more than fifty illustrations, her text enables a multifaceted encounter with foundational and cutting edge theories in memory, trauma, gender, and visual culture, eliciting a new understanding of history and our place in it.
Description : A powerful work of moral and political philosophy.The idea which I shall present here came to me more or less out of the blue. I was on a train some five years ago, on my way to spend a day at Headingley and I was reading a book about the death camp at Sobibor... The particular, not very appropriate, conjunction involved for me in this train journey... had the effect of fixing my thoughts on one of the more dreadful features of human coexistence, when in the shape of a simple five-word phrase the idea occurred to me. In The Contract of Mutual Indifference, Norman Geras discusses a central aspect of the experience of the Holocaust with a view to exploring its most important contemporary implications. In a bold and powerful synthesis of memorial, literary record, historical reflection and political theory, he focuses on the figure of the bystander -- the bystander to the destruction of the Jews of Europe and the bystander to more recent atrocities -- to consider the moral consequences of looking on without active response at persecution and great suffering. Geras argues that the tragedy of European Jewry, so widely pondered by historians, social scientists, psychologists, theologians and others, has not yet found its proper reflection within political philosophy. Attempting to fill the gap, he adapts an old idea from within that tradition of enquiry, the idea of the social contract, to the task of thinking about the triangular relation between perpetrators, victims and bystanders, and draws a somber conclusion from it. Geras goes on to ask how far this conclusion may be offset by the hypothesis of a universal duty to bring aid. The Contract of Mutual Indifference is an original and challenging work, aimed at the complacent abstraction of much contemporary theory. It is supplemented by three shorter essays on the implications of the Jewish catastrophe for conceptions of human nature and progress and for certain types of Marxist explanation.
Description : Many of us belong to communities that have been scarred by terrible calamities. And many of us come from families that have suffered grievous losses. How we reflect on these legacies of loss and the ways they inform each other are the questions Laura Levitt takes up in this provocative and passionate book. An American Jew whose family was not directly affected by the Holocaust, Levitt grapples with the challenges of contending with ordinary Jewish loss. She suggests that although the memory of the Holocaust may seem to overshadow all other kinds of loss for American Jews, it can also open up possibilities for engaging these more personal and everyday legacies. Weaving in discussions of her own family stories and writing in a manner that is both deeply personal and erudite, Levitt shows what happens when public and private losses are seen next to each other, and what happens when difficult works of art or commemoration, such as museum exhibits or films, are seen alongside ordinary family stories about more intimate losses. In so doing she illuminates how through these “ordinary stories” we may create an alternative model for confronting Holocaust memory in Jewish culture.
Description : When we are confronted with images of and memoirs from the Holocaust and subsequent cases of vast cruelty and suffering, is our impulse to empathize put at risk by the possibility of becoming numb to horror? Carolyn J. Dean's provocative new book addresses the ways we evade our failures of empathy in the face of massive suffering: Has exposure (or overexposure) to representations of pain damaged our ability to feel? Do the frequent claims that artistic representations of extreme cruelty are pornographic allow us to dodge the real issues that we must confront in attempting to come to terms with suffering? Does an excess of terror place constraints on compassion?Dean examines the very different representations of suffering found in visual media, history writing, cultural criticism, and journalism that grapple with the assumption that Americans and Western Europeans have been rendered numb and their appropriate human responses blunted by the events of the past century. The Fragility of Empathy after the Holocaust will be of interest to all readers concerned with contemporary "victim culture," Holocaust representation, and humanism.
Description : With the benefit of never-before-published eyewitness accounts from Holocaust survivors, a professor at the University of Munich follows the fate of the Jews who survived the Holocaust and remained in Germany immediately following World War II. UP.
Description : After the Holocaust tells the story of life after liberation from the perspective of Jewish survivors working to rebuild their lives. Since there was no plan for liberation - no structure in place to help survivors settle once they were liberated - these testimonies speak of struggle amid confusion and pain. Ambiguous regulations aimed to repatriate displaced Jews and to confine them to camps were put forth while the classification of German Jews as Germans without entitlement to additional food rations or other support were also put in place. Thus, the normalisation of Jewish life after 1945 amounted to abandonment. And as Germans busied themselves with their own 'catastrophe' of defeat and with the reconstruction of German culture, Jews were left to depend on military and Jewish aid agencies, all pursuing their own, often conflicting, agendas. Jewish culture since the Holocaust incorporates the traumatic memory of the Holocaust as a collective and an individual experience. Yet it also incorporates the memory of how after liberation, Germans remained divided from Jews in their mutual struggle to re-build their lives.