The Language of Nazi Genocide: Linguistic Violence and the Struggle of Germans of Jewish Ancestry

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 29, 2011 - History - 320 pages
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In the Nazi genocide of European Jews, words preceded, accompanied, and made mass murder possible. Using a multilayered approach to connect official language to everyday life, historian Thomas Pegelow Kaplan analyzes the role of language in genocide. This study seeks to comprehend how the perpetrators constructed difference, race, and their perceived enemies; how Nazi agencies communicated to the public through the nation's press; and how Germans of Jewish ancestry received, contested, and struggled for survival and self against remarkable odds. The Language of Nazi Genocide covers the historical periods of the late Weimar Republic, the Nazi regime, and early postwar Germany. However, by addressing the architecture of conceptual separation between groups and the means by which social aggression is disseminated, this study offers a model for comparative studies of linguistic violence, hate speech, and genocide in the modern world.

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About the author (2011)

Thomas Pegelow Kaplan is currently Assistant Professor of Modern European History at Davidson College. He has also taught at Grinnell College and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he received his PhD. He was awarded a Miles Lerman Center for the Study of Jewish Resistance Fellowship by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and a Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. His articles have appeared in Central European History, Contemporary European History and Zeitgeschichte.

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