Culture and Catastrophe: German and Jewish Confrontations With National Socialism and Other Crises

Culture and Catastrophe: German and Jewish Confrontations With National Socialism and Other Crises

by Steven E. Aschheim, Robert W. Jensen
     
 

ISBN-10: 0814706428

ISBN-13: 9780814706428

Pub. Date: 12/01/1997

Publisher: New York University Press

Our understandings of culture and of the catastrophe unleashed by National Socialism have always been regarded as interrelated. For all its brutality, Nazism always spoke in the name of the great German tradition, often using such high culture to justify atrocities committed. Were not such actions necessary for the defense of classical cultural values and ideal

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Overview

Our understandings of culture and of the catastrophe unleashed by National Socialism have always been regarded as interrelated. For all its brutality, Nazism always spoke in the name of the great German tradition, often using such high culture to justify atrocities committed. Were not such actions necessary for the defense of classical cultural values and ideal images against the polluted, degenerate groups who sought to sully and defile them?

Ironically, some of National Socialism's victims confronted and interpreted their experiences precisely through this prism of culture and catastrophe. Many of these victims had traditionally regarded Germany as a major civilizing force. In fact, from the late eighteenth century on, German Jews had constructed themselves in German culture's image. Many of the German-speaking Jewish intellectuals who became victims of National Socialism had been raised and completely absorbed in the German humanistic tradition.

Steven E. Aschheim here engages the multiple aspects of German and German-Jewish cultural history which touch upon the intricate interplay between culture and catastrophe, providing insights into the relationship between German culture and the origins, dispositions, and aftermath of National Socialism. He analyzes the designation of Nazism as part of the West's cultural code representing an absolute standard of evil, and sheds light on the problematics of current German, Jewish, and Israeli inscriptions of Nazism and its atrocities.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814706428
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
12/01/1997
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
1Culture and Catastrophe1
2German Jews beyond Bildung and Liberalism: The Radical Jewish Revival in the Weimar Republic31
3'The Jew Within': The Myth of 'Judaization' in Germany45
4Nietzsche, Anti-Semitism and Mass Murder69
5The German-Jewish Dialogue at its Limits: The Case of Hermann Broch and Volkmar von Zuehlsdorff85
6Hannah Arendt and Karl Jaspers: Friendship, Catastrophe and the Possibilities of German-Jewish Dialogue97
7Small Forays, Grand Theories and Deep Origins: Current Trends in the Historiography of the Holocaust115
Notes and References136
Index206

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