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Challenging the "Hollywoodization" of the Holocaust: Reconsidering Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

Jennifer Frost
- Vol. 1, Iss: 2, pp 139-165
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TLDR
One of the most prominent films made by producer-director Stanley Kramer, from an original screenplay by Abby Mann, Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) is a fictional film based on factual events, and depicts the trial of four judges for their crimes during the Nazi regime.
Abstract
One of the most prominent films made by producer-director Stanley Kramer, from an original screenplay by Abby Mann, Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) is a fictional film based on factual events, and depicts the trial of four judges for their crimes during the Nazi regime. Set in 1948, the film nonetheless related closely to events in 1961, chiefly the trial of Adolf Eichmann and the building of the Berlin Wall—pivotal moments in Holocaust remembrance and the intensification of Cold War hostilities. As Jewish filmmakers, Kramer and Mann shared a commitment to remembrance that contradicts a longstanding—although recently challenged—historiographical contention that Jewish Americans paid little public attention to what came to be called the “Holocaust” until the Eichmann trial or after. Although Kramer was a Hollywood filmmaker who made films for commercial release and popular consumption, he and Mann also felt a responsibility to history. Utilizing the techniques of historical film analysis, this essay examines the filmmakers’ practice of historical filmmaking; their film’s representation and interpretation of the past to include surviving witnesses and Nazi perpetrators, and what has come to be called “particularism” and “universalism”; and the film’s reception by a range of contemporary audiences. Reconsidering Judgment at Nuremberg demonstrates it cannot be categorized as an example of the “Americanization” or “Hollywoodization” of the Holocaust.

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Torn at the Roots: The Crisis of Jewish Liberalism in Postwar America

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The Filming of the Liberation of Bergen-Belsen and its Impact on the Understanding of the Holocaust

Toby Haggith
- 01 Jun 2006 - 
TL;DR: The Belsen film has been used since the war and some thoughts on its contribution to wider public awareness and understanding of the German concentration camp system and the Holocaust are given in this article.
References
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Journal Article

The Holocaust in American Life

TL;DR: Novick as discussed by the authors argues that the Holocaust became more ubiquitous in American cultural and political life after 1968 than it had been in the postwar years, rejecting psychoanalytically informed accounts that explain this lag in terms of "trauma" or "repression."
Book

Selling the Holocaust

Tim J Cole
TL;DR: Cole showed us an "Auschwitz-land" where tourists have become the "ultimate ruberneckers" passing by and gazing at someone else's tragedy as mentioned in this paper, and showed us a US Holocaust Museum that provides visitors with a "virtual Holocaust" experience.
Journal ArticleDOI

The Americanization of the holocaust

TL;DR: The Americanization of the Holocaust as discussed by the authors presents a collection of essays on America's cultural appropriation of this central event in twentieth-century history, from Schindler's List to Elie Wiesel's throwing out the first pitch at the Mets season opener in 1988.
Book

The Holocaust in American film

TL;DR: This paper examined how specific films influenced the Americanization of the Holocaust and how the medium per se helped seed that event into the public consciousness, and how these films helped integrate the Holocaust into the fabric of American society.