Post-Holocaust: Interpretation, Misinterpretation, and the Claims of History

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Indiana University Press, 2005 - History - 200 pages
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"These essays are extremely well written, with the clarity and accessibility that one has come to expect from Berel Lang, one of the most respected and significant philosophers writing about the Holocaust and its impact." —Michael L. Morgan

In these trenchant essays, philosopher Berel Lang examines post-Holocaust intepretations—and misinterpretations—showing the ways in which rhetoric and ideology have affected historical discourse about the Holocaust and how these accounts can be deconstructed. Why didn't the Jews resist? How could the Germans have done what they did? Why didn't more bystanders join in the rescue? In Lang's view, these questions become mischievous when the circumstances in which victims, perpetrators, and bystanders played their roles are omitted or obscured. To confront such issues adequately requires comparative and contextual evidence. Post-Holocaust addresses such questions as the place of the Holocaust in the Nazi project as a whole, the roles of revenge and forgiveness in post-Holocaust Jewish thinking, Holocaust commemoration as artifice or "business," and the relationship of the Holocaust to traditional antisemitism. Lang's analysis provides an incisive and fruitful basis for confronting these critical subjects.

Jewish Literature and Culture—Alvin H. Rosenfeld, editor

 

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Contents

Introduction
xi
In the Matter of Justice
1
The Nazi as Criminal
3
Forgiveness Revenge and the Limits of Holocaust Justice
17
Evil Suffering and the Holocaust
31
Comparative EvilMeasuring Numbers Degrees People
51
Language and Lessons
61
The Grammar of Antisemitism
63
For and Against Interpretation
115
Oskar Rosenfeld and Historiographic Realism in Sex Shit and Status
117
Lachrymose without Tears Misreading the Holocaust in American Life
127
Not Enough vs Plenty Which Did Pius XII?
137
The Evil in Genocide
145
Misinterpretation as the Authors Responsibility Nietzsches Fascism for Instance
157
Philosophy andof the Holocaust
173
Notes
183

The Unspeakable vs the Testimonial Holocaust Trauma in Holocaust History
71
Undoing Certain Mischievous Questions about the Holocaust
85
From the Particular to the Universal and Forward
99

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About the author (2005)

Berel Lang is Professor of Humanities at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He is author of Act and Idea in the Nazi Genocide; Holocaust Representation: Art within the Limits of History and Ethics; and The Future of the Holocaust: Between History and Memory.

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