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Showing papers in "Holocaust Studies in 2016"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The role of the notion of Lebensraum in shaping the biopolitical and genocidal machinery implemented by Hitlerism and its followers is explored in this paper, where the authors claim that the Third Reich incorporated LebENSRAUM by merging its duplicitous meaning, as living/vital space and as life-world.
Abstract: This article focuses on the pivotal role the notion of Lebensraum played within the Nazi spatial mindscape. Tracing the complex and contradictory genealogies of Lebensraum, we note how geographers’ engagement with Geopolitik has only made modest reference to the role Lebensraum played in shaping the biopolitical and genocidal machinery implemented by Hitlerism and its followers. Moreover, most of this literature highlights a clear discontinuity between the Lebensraum concept formulated by German academic geographers and the Nazis respectively. Rather than emphasizing the divide between German Geopolitik and Nazi biopolitics, we claim that the Third Reich incorporated Lebensraum by merging its duplicitous meaning, as living/vital space and as life-world. Equality important were both Nazi ‘functionalist’ understandings of Lebensraum as well as its ontological merging of Lebens and Raum in which the racialised German nation is conceived as a spatial organism whose expansion is the essential expressio...

35 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Visitor photography at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum is becoming increasingly popular in the age of the Internet, social media and digitalization as mentioned in this paper, and their motivations for taking photographs at the site also vary.
Abstract: Visitor photography at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum is becoming increasingly popular in the age of the Internet, social media and digitalization. People visit the Auschwitz Museum for a number of reasons, and their motivations for taking photographs at the site also vary. Several of the primary reasons to photograph Auschwitz given by the sixteen participants in this study will be explored in this paper. The ethical dilemma surrounding the taking of ‘selfies’ will also be considered.

24 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors present a collection of eleven articles that provide diverse insights into Jewish-Gentile relations in Central and Eastern Europe from the outbreak of the Second World War until the reestablishment of civic societies after the fall of Communism in the late 1980s.
Abstract: In Eastern Europe, where the genocide of the Jews became an almost “ordinary”, integral part of life during the war, as well as in Central Europe, removed from the direct proximity of the mass murder, the culpability of the Germans and their principal role in the Holocaust has not been doubted. After all, the Holocaust was an all-German story to tell. Far more complex has been the recognition of the local majority societies' – that is non-Germans' – involvement in the persecution and extermination of the Jewish population, and of the majority societies' ambiguous responses to the return of the Jewish survivors (or refugees and exiles) after 1945. This essay opens a collection of eleven articles that provide diverse insights into Jewish-Gentile relations in Central and Eastern Europe from the outbreak of the Second World War until the reestablishment of civic societies after the fall of Communism in the late 1980s. The interdisciplinary and comparative perspective of this issue enables us to scruti...

21 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Natalia Aleksiun1
TL;DR: In this paper, a close reading of Jewish court testimonies from the trials that took place in Poland in the immediate postwar period is presented, which shed light on the scope of intimate violence perpetrated by former neighbors as well as the survivors' struggle to grasp and understand it.
Abstract: This article focuses on a close reading of Jewish court testimonies from the trials that took place in Poland in the immediate postwar period. Called to testify about the actions of individuals indicted for their collaboration with the Germans during the Second World War, Jewish witnesses described interethnic relations in Eastern Galicia before and during the German occupation. These accounts offer us a window into the process of destruction of Jewish communities in the region from a perspective of individual families. They shed light on the scope of intimate violence perpetrated by former neighbors as well as the survivors’ struggle to grasp and understand it.

18 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the relationship between spatial proximity and social distance to sharpen understanding of contemporary responses to the Holocaust is investigated, and the role played by the British propaganda organs in shaping responses to Holocaust is also assessed.
Abstract: This article problematizes the relationship between spatial proximity and social distance to sharpen understanding of contemporary responses to the Holocaust. It examines how information about the Holocaust was sent west by the Polish Underground, shows how this information was disseminated in Britain, and explores the relationship between Western reactions to news of the Holocaust and responses in Poland. The article considers the varied “geographies of obligation” towards Europe’s Jews in both Poland and Britain. The role played by the British propaganda organs in shaping responses to the Holocaust is also assessed.

11 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors analyzed a collection of religious queries and responses written by Rabbi Ephraim Oshry, a well-known halakhic decisor of the Kovno Ghetto, and demonstrated how Rabbi Oshry utilized questions concerning ritual practice and precision to empirically quantify and categorize a new reality of genocide.
Abstract: This article will analyze a collection of religious queries and responses written by Rabbi Ephraim Oshry, a well-known halakhic decisor of the Kovno Ghetto. It will demonstrate how Rabbi Oshry utilized questions concerning ritual practice and precision to empirically quantify and categorize a new reality of genocide. Here classical forms of Jewish martyrdom were used as a framework through which ghetto inmates could exert a certain amount of ritualized control over a genocide whose scale was difficult to comprehend, and whose extent they could not predict. Rabbi Oshry’s text also demonstrates some of the tragic limitations of ritual activity to act as either an explanatory or efficacious model for confronting the Nazi genocide.

10 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the connection between humanitarian aid, moral obligations of political elites, and political realism in Greek-German relations was examined, drawing on rich primary sources particularly from German archives.
Abstract: In postwar Greece, reflections on the country’s reconstruction and German compensation for Nazi persecution have been largely overshadowed by the memory of the Greek Civil War (1946–49) followed by strong nationalist and anti-communist policies. In public discourse, however, memories of the Holocaust were recently linked to mass atrocities on the Greek non-Jewish population. Even before the book Ellinika Olokautomata, 1940–1945 [Greek Holocausts, 1940–1945] was published in 2010, the term “Holocausts” was used in connection with the retaliatory actions taken by Germans against the communist resistance in Greece under the Nazi occupation. In this way, Shoah survivors were seen as competitors for compensation payments in general and from Germany in particular. Drawing on rich primary sources particularly from German archives, I aim to examine the connection between humanitarian aid, moral obligations of political elites, and political realism in Greek–German relations. I argue that in the climate of...

10 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The concept of performance in the concentration camps is not a new one as mentioned in this paper, but the very notion is generally seen as taboo, but the reasons for this are somewhat vague and appear to centre around the widespread idea of performance as "frivolous"; to perform within a concentration camp would be to somehow deface Holocaust memory and mock the suffering of those imprisoned there.
Abstract: The concept of performance in the concentration camps is not a new one. Rovit and Goldfarb (1999) have chronicled a range of inmate performances from the cabarets of Theresienstadt to the variety shows at Auschwitz-Birkenau, created for many diverse reasons. Yet since the liberation of the camps there has been virtually no theatrical performance in these sites of memory. The very notion is generally seen as taboo, but the reasons for this are somewhat vague and appear to centre around the widespread idea of performance as ‘frivolous’; to perform within a concentration camp would be to somehow deface Holocaust memory and mock the suffering of those imprisoned there. Such ‘profane’ performance can be located within the ‘selfie’ photographs of tourists visiting the camps. But what of the daily shows that take place in the guise of guided tours – ‘sacred’ performances? What makes these performances acceptable to the public and the camp authorities, when theatrical performances are not? Can there ever ...

10 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors proposes an extended comparative study of early postwar discursive constructions of the recent past, focusing empirically on pre-Cold War Hungary and analyzes three major institutional discourses: the jurisdiction on political crimes, official religious statements, and public interpretations of intellectuals.
Abstract: To contribute to a critical sociological understanding of the political struggles centering around the canonized memory of the Holocaust, this article proposes an extended comparative study of early postwar discursive constructions of the recent past. Focusing empirically on pre-Cold War Hungary, it analyzes three major institutional discourses, each conceptualizing the recent past as catastrophe: the jurisdiction on political crimes, official religious statements, and public interpretations of intellectuals. The article argues that before the rise of Holocaust memory, there existed a discursive regime dealing with the historical period of the Second World War. Though this regime around the concept of catastrophe did not apply the Jewish identification, it allowed for former acts of Nazi persecution to be confronted.

9 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This article offers a critical analysis of British writer Angela Morgan Cutler’s and Jewish American author Paul Auster’s accounts of their encounters with the Nazi sites of mass murder Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen. Having no personal connection to the history of the Holocaust, Cutler and Auster post-witness the past through experiencing contradictory sensorial and cognitive reactions to the memorial sites, which resemble cognitive dissonance.

9 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Anthony Lake1
TL;DR: The Good German as discussed by the authors manipulates reader and character identification by challenging its readers to identify with Renate Naumann, who is a fictional representation of the Holocaust victim turned perpetrator Stella Goldschlag.
Abstract: Joseph Kanon's 2001 Holocaust novel The Good German explores problems of identification between reader and character. The Good German manipulates reader and character identification by challenging its readers to identify with Renate Naumann, who is a fictional representation of the Holocaust victim turned perpetrator Stella Goldschlag. She is portrayed with qualified sympathy, raising questions about Holocaust perpetrators as “monstrous” and the value of perpetrators as Holocaust witnesses. The Good German, however, interrupts the processes of identification to problematize questions of guilt, responsibility, and judgment.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors examines the history of this recurring critique and considers its relationship with wider features of Holocaust Theology as a mode of writing, and suggests that the habitual appeal to notions of transformative horror both encourages this critique to recur and, in turn, raises questions regarding the future of the discourse.
Abstract: Jewish “Holocaust Theology,” a body of texts produced by North American and British religious thinkers since the 1960s, has been repeatedly accused of using the Holocaust to lend moral leverage to separate debates. This article examines the history of this recurring critique and considers its relationship with wider features of Holocaust Theology as a mode of writing. It is suggested that Holocaust Theology's habitual appeal to notions of transformative horror both encourages this critique to recur and, in turn, raises questions regarding the future of the discourse.

Journal ArticleDOI
Mor Presiado1
TL;DR: This paper focused on women's artistic expression of three topics: mutual assistance among women, loss of femininity, and sexual violence, all of which have received little attention in Holocaust art research.
Abstract: Since the second half of the 1970s, a corpus of studies focusing on the history of women during the Holocaust has been produced. These studies assert that even though Jewish women shared the annihilation threat with the men, Jewish women also underwent unique experiences resulting from their female physiology, their female socialization, and the National Socialist Weltanschauung directed against them. These different experiences were also expressed visually in numerous works of art made by women during the Holocaust era (1939–49). Their art is rife with images of pregnancy, motherhood, feminine crafts such as domestic chores, cooking, female solidarity and mutual assistance, loss of femininity, and sexual violence. This article focuses especially on women’s artistic expression of three of these topics: mutual assistance among women, loss of femininity, and sexual violence, all of which have received little attention in Holocaust art research.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Channel Islands have experienced great difficulty in coming to terms with the Holocaust given the implication of the local authorities in the registration of the islands' Jewish population during the German occupation as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: The Channel Islands have experienced great difficulty in coming to terms with the Holocaust given the implication of the local authorities in the registration of the islands’ Jewish population during the German occupation. While the situation in Jersey began to change in the 1990s due to the actions of the island's leadership, the issue is still taboo in Guernsey today. Taking a historical approach, this article addresses the power of that taboo at the time of Holocaust Memorial Day 2015, proposing the concept of the “incremental memory event” as a way of understanding the differences in memory in both islands.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argues that some Australian fiction promotes a unique stance in regards to the Holocaust and the Third Reich, arguing that a cultural naivety exists in Australia, forged due to historical and cultural influences played out since the Second World War.
Abstract: This article argues that some Australian fiction promotes a unique stance in regards to the Holocaust and the Third Reich. Reading Helen Demidenko/Darville's The Hand that Signed the Paper and James McQueen's White Light, I show that a cultural naivety exists in Australia, forged due to historical and cultural influences played out since the Second World War. These factors have influenced the country's memorialization of, and responses to, the Holocaust and the period's ensuing after-effects, as exampled in these two pieces of Australian fiction.

Journal ArticleDOI
Sue Vice1
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors analyse how the topography of various kinds of wartime camp are represented in British narratives and explore whether a specifically British experience or viewpoint is evident in these texts.
Abstract: This article analyses how the topography of various kinds of wartime camp are represented in British narratives. It does so in order to explore whether a specifically British experience or viewpoint is evident in these texts.The camps under discussion include the internment camps, established from 1940 onwards on British soil for the incarceration of ‘enemy aliens’, and their representation in wartime memoirs and novels as well as in more recent fiction. The second category of camp to be analysed is that of the necessarily fictional deportation camp, imagined in recent novels to have been established in a Britain which has either been invaded or surrendered in 1940. Lastly, the terrain of the forced-labour and extermination camp at Auschwitz has appeared in recent British fiction in a way that draws on documentary sources by means of an anglophone perspective.The article concludes by observing that, in each case, what might have seemed to be a comparison, drawing likenesses between the real or ima...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, a case study shows how a micro-historical perspective can shed new light on the relations between Jews and Gentile Poles during the Holocaust and the aftermath, focusing on the dynamics of occupation, the twists and turns in individual stories and the ongoing radicalization.
Abstract: This case study shows how a micro-historical perspective can shed new light on the relations between Jews and Gentile Poles during the Holocaust and the aftermath. It questions static categories such as “bystander” or “rescuer” and focuses on the dynamics of occupation, the twists and turns in individual stories and the ongoing radicalization. The article enquires into modes of helping Jews; pre-war friendships in many cases did not prove to be resilient, and most of the time Jews had to actively ask for help and the Gentiles had to decide quickly what to do. Finally, it shows how ambivalent providing help could be.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: There are already several publications that examine Jewish culture and performance during the Holocaust, such as as mentioned in this paper and Theatrical Performancings of the Holocaust (TPCH), which is a collection of plays written by Rovit and Goldfarb.
Abstract: There are already several publications that examine Jewish culture and performance during the Holocaust. For example, Rebecca Rovit and Alvin Goldfarb’s 1999 edited collection Theatrical Performanc...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the composition of finding aids based on their work for the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI) is discussed, and it is shown that the content of the finding aids is determined by their authors and the context in which they are creating them.
Abstract: The field of Holocaust studies relies on a wide variety of archives, dispersed all over the world. Identifying the right sources for a specific research question within this field is not easy or straightforward. Yet Holocaust scholars predominately focus on methodologies for source analysis rather than discovery. Archival finding aids are among the most important tools to aid primary source discovery, but have hitherto not been considered in methodological discussions on Holocaust research. In this article we will reflect on the composition of finding aids based on our work for the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI). Our premise is that the content of finding aids is determined by their authors and the context in which they are creating them. The strongest argument for this subjectivity is that our work – outlined in this article – not only indicates that descriptions of one and the same source differ, but that they can do so quite considerably, and hence can influence research. Our...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the epistemological and ethical challenge of bringing together both perspectives, the subjectivity of the witness and the listeners' urge to generalize, from the specific viewpoint of a literary scholar, is addressed.
Abstract: In museums, schools and other cultural contexts, video testimonies by Shoah survivors are being used and interpreted as a means for historical generalization, yet their individual experience will always remain somehow unique. This article addresses the epistemological and ethical challenge of bringing together both perspectives, the subjectivity of the witness and the listeners’ urge to generalize, from the specific viewpoint of a literary scholar. Along the lines of a close reading of two German video testimonies, the author proposes a way of interpreting testimony that offers a way of bridging the subjective with the general by carefully going along with the survivor’s often highly individual perspective on events and experiences.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a phenomenological approach is adopted to consider how, despite Kornblumenblau's particularly Polish themes, it might address the transcultural spectator and draw attention to the broader difficulties one faces when attempting to remember the Holocaust.
Abstract: Kornblumenblau (Leszek Wosiewicz 1989) is a film that explores the experience of a Polish political prisoner interned at Auschwitz I. It particularly foregrounds issues related to Polish-Jewish relations during the Holocaust in its diegesis. Holocaust films are often discussed in relation to representation and the cultural specificity of their production context. However, this paper suggests thinking about film and topographies, the theme of this issue, not in relation to where a work is produced but in regards to the spectatorial space. It adopts a phenomenological approach to consider how, despite Kornblumenblau's particularly Polish themes, it might address the transcultural spectator and draw attention to the broader difficulties one faces when attempting to remember the Holocaust. Influenced particularly by the writing of Jennifer M. Barker and Laura U. Marks, this paper suggests that film possesses a body ¬¬- a display of intentionality, beyond those presented within the diegesis, which enga...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Bazyler and Tuerkheimer as discussed by the authors examined the role of law in the denaturalization and deportation of Nazis and collaborators who had managed to gain entry to the US after the war.
Abstract: law and mass atrocity is another point highlighted by the authors here and throughout the book. Göth was convicted and hanged for his crimes that, technically speaking, may not have been “crimes” at all. Few would deny that Göth at some important level got what he deserved. But his case, as set out with great care and concern in this book, does at the very least highlight the always potential lacuna between our understandings of justice and existing legal categories that are meant to serve as the means of achieving and concretizing that justice. In a somewhat similar light, the authors also offer the example of the case of Feodor Fedorenko, a Ukrainian guard at Treblinka (Chapter 9). The Federenko case is used as a gateway into an important discussion of the failings of the United States to pursue an effective legal program against Nazi war criminals. It examines in some detail the mechanism of “denaturalization and deportation” used by the American authorities to remove Nazis and collaborators who had managed to gain entry to the US after the war. Barred by the Constitution from pursuing perpetrators for their crimes, US authorities sought to revoke the citizenship of these men and women on the grounds that by covering up their connections with Nazi atrocities, they had gained entry to the United States and to American citizenship by fraud. Again, the chapter highlights the evolution and adaptability of law as a mechanism for dealing with the “crimes of the Holocaust,” while at the same time carefully setting out the flaws and weaknesses of law in such circumstances. The final set of legal cases deserving mention is that found in Chapter 7. This chapter deals with the so-called Kapo trials in Israel where former Jewish inmates were charged with crimes committed against their fellow Jews in the camps. The discussion offered here underscores the problematic “gray zone” not just of the camps, but of the category “perpetrator” in our historical and juridical construction of the actions of accused individuals. Furthermore, and as a necessary consequence of this taxonomical uncertainty, the authors bring into stark question the very applicability of legal norms of culpability, the issue of the suitability of law itself to deal with such matters, the juxtaposition between law and justice, and the frequent incommensurability of these norms. Indeed, this is the only chapter in the book in which the two authors go out of their way to voice differing views on these questions. Bazyler and Tuerkheimer have given us much to think about. There are few answers in this book, and plenty of questions. But for those of us who are concerned with our collective, societal ability to develop institutional mechanisms that can cope with the demands of justice in the face of mass atrocity, the case studies found here offer invaluable starting points for difficult discussions to come.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors explored the level of consistency of Israeli representation of the rescue of Danish Jewry with the testimonies of those who themselves experienced the events in Denmark during the Second World War; more broadly, it examined the role of survivors within Holocaust memory.
Abstract: This article explores the level of consistency of Israeli representation of the rescue of Danish Jewry with the testimonies of those who themselves experienced the events in Denmark during the Second World War; more broadly, it examines the role of survivors within Holocaust memory. Suggesting an innovative method of integrating survivors’ testimonies into historical research (a combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis), it appears that despite the wide range of voices springing from the testimonies, only the voices of survivors who strengthen the myth formed around the rescue are heard. Nevertheless, the late, reflective writing of some survivors not only challenges the common heroic image of the rescue but also bridges (to some extent) the existing gap between this image and the revelations derived from up-to-date international research.

Journal ArticleDOI
Melanie Dilly1
TL;DR: The authors focus on examples from Sebald's book where the temporal gap between a place's history and its visitor is most striking, where the protagonist's coping strategy is to pick up on the traces distributed in the text so that as the result of constant negotiations new meanings in the sense of a Third Space are revealed.
Abstract: W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz (2001) demonstrates how narrative technique can still open up new ways of personal engagement with the past of the Second World War: hybrid constructions of the documentary and the fictional as well as a shift of focus from an objective to a subjective truth put the active reader into the foreground. This article will focus on examples from Sebald’s book where the temporal gap between a place’s history and its visitor is most striking. The protagonist’s coping strategy is to pick up on the traces distributed in the text so that as the result of constant negotiations new meanings in the sense of a Third Space are revealed.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a study of how individuals psychologically experience Holocaust-related exhibits or installations is presented. But such studies are relatively rare, in part because such investigations lie at the crossroads of Holocaust education and visitor or museum studies.
Abstract: Studies of how individuals psychologically experience Holocaust-related exhibits or installations are relatively rare, in part because such investigations lie at the crossroads of Holocaust education and visitor or museum studies. The current study arose out of a unique opportunity during which the authors’ university hosted a traveling exhibit of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race. One hundred and ninety-four participants responded to a qualitative question regarding the impact of the exhibit. A descriptive form of thematic analysis was used to identify patterns in the data, resulting in three superordinate themes (closed, open, and ambivalent engagement). These themes describe how participants oriented themselves toward the exhibit, negotiating a complex interplay that included a passive to active continuum. Our critical analysis suggests that it may be helpful to view participants as ambivalent or even contradictory human agents, struggling wi...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper argued that writings by Tadeusz Borowski, condemned to oblivion by critics due to their ideological nature and low aesthetic value, can in fact be perceived as a continuation of his ar...
Abstract: This article argues that writings by Tadeusz Borowski, condemned to oblivion by critics due to their ideological nature and low aesthetic value, can in fact be perceived as a continuation of his ar...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The English translation of Turkey and the Armenian Ghost: On the Trail of the Genocide, by the two French journalists Laure Marchand and Guillaume Perrier, was published on the eve of the Armenian Genocide.
Abstract: The English translation of Turkey and the Armenian Ghost: On the Trail of the Genocide, by the two French journalists Laure Marchand and Guillaume Perrier, was published on the eve of the Armenian ...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, a semiotic analysis of the image of the "Jew" in the context of late Stalinism (1948-53) is presented, which is based on two significant propaganda campaigns of the period, namely the campaign against cosmopolitanism and the campaign accompanying the Doctors' Plot.
Abstract: The period of late Stalinism (1948–53) witnessed a sharp increase in anti-Jewish discrimination on the part of the Soviet regime, accompanied by a radicalizing anti-Jewish animosity in the public. This article examines the phenomenon by analyzing the image of the “Jew” in Soviet propaganda of that time. Using the means of semiotic analysis as a general framework, it strives to reveal the inter-relations between the image of the “enemy” and the notion of the “Jew.” The analysis is based on two significant propaganda campaigns of the period, namely the campaign against “cosmopolitanism” and the campaign accompanying “the Doctors’ Plot.” The chosen method enables to document that due to its multi-layered semiotic character, the image of the “Jew” was used by the Soviet regime to justify both its foreign and domestic policies and struggles. The outcomes of the analysis are further applied to the Czechoslovak context of the early Communist rule in order to demonstrate how the image of the “Jew” as an “...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors examines the differing representations of the history of concentration camp brothels and argues that differing national sensitivities, roles the topographies play in memory and history and the pressures of visitor numbers to the sites are fundamental in these juxtaposing representations.
Abstract: This paper examines the differing representations of the history of concentration camp brothels. It examines how two specific sites of memory, Ravensbruck Gedenkstatte and Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum have taken dichotomous approaches in whether to explore this difficult and marginal experiences of around two hundred women who were forced to serve in prisoner camp brothels. Building on research visits to both sites in 2013, it evaluates and argues that differing national sensitivities, roles the topographies play in memory and history and the pressures of visitor numbers to the sites are fundamental in these juxtaposing representations.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argued that the focus of fictional accounts should be on complexity, not heroism, and pointed out that heroism is insufficient in this context because, in their insistence on action over complicity, they inadvertently condemn millions of victims who were violently coerced into submission.
Abstract: This article considers representations of Jewish “culpability” during the Holocaust. Despite the undoubtedly contentious nature of the topic, I take as my starting point that the actions of the victims of the genocide were not all beyond moral reproach. This is not to confuse cause and effect but, rather, to acknowledge the nuances of the atrocity. Analyzing the representation of these ambiguities in a wide range of literature and film, I argue that conceptions of heroism are insufficient in this context because, in their insistence on action over complicity, they inadvertently condemn millions of victims who were violently coerced into submission. Instead, I suggest that the focus of fictional accounts should be on complexity, not heroism.