Reading the Holocaust

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Cambridge University Press, May 2, 2002 - History - 227 pages
The events of the Holocaust remain unthinkable to many men and women, as morally and intellectually baffling today as they were a half century ago. Inga Clendinnen seeks to dispel what she calls the "Gorgon effect:" the sickening of imagination and the draining of the will that afflict so many of us when we try to confront the horrors of this history. Clendinnen explores the experience of the Holocaust from both the victims' and the perpetrators' points of view. She discusses the remarkable survivor testimonies of writers such as Primo Levi and Charlotte Delbo, the vexing issue of "resistance" in the camps, and survivors' strategies for understanding the motivations of the Nazi leadership. She focuses an anthropologist's precise gaze on the actions of the murderers in the police battalions and among the SS in the camps. Finally she considers how the Holocaust has been portrayed in poetry, fiction, and film. A Prize-winning archaeologist, anthropologist and historian of ancient Mexican cultures, Inga Clendinnen has spent most of her teaching career at La Trobe University in Bundoora, Australia. Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan (Cambridge, 1989) and Aztecs: An Interpretation (Cambridge, 1995) are two of her best-known scholarly works; Tiger's Eye: A Memoir, (Scribner, 2001) describes her battle against liver cancer.
 

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READING THE HOLOCAUST

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paper 0-521-64597-2 A trenchant collection of essays intended to forge the human connections necessary to begin the move toward a full understanding of the Holocaust. Clendinnen critiques the notion ... Read full review

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Total credulous crap!
I'd give it fewer stars, except it might be thought I that just hadn't rated it.
Trying to convince the reader that the fairy tale about Himmler's furniture made from human
bones is true?
It is disgraceful that such books are allowed to be sold as "fact". When Misha deFonseca was found to have made up her totally unbelievable story about living with wolves -- published as the unvarnished truth -- she was properly castigated; but this equally ridiculous "eyewitness" story is supposed to be true? Give me a break!
 

Contents

BEGINNINGS
1
IMPEDIMENTS
6
WITNESSING
28
RESISTING
56
INSIDE THE GREY ZONE The Auschwitz Sonderkommando
62
LEADERS
79
THE MEN IN THE GREEN TUNICS The Order Police in Poland
114
THE AUSCHWITZ SS
134
REPRESENTING THE HOLOCAUST
163
NOTES
185
SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY
213
INDEX
225
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Inga Clendinnen is the author of Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan, 1517-1570 (1989) and Aztecs: An Interpretation (1991). Reading the Holocaust has won the Premier's Award for General History in New South Wales.

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