Gray Zones

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"...a useful addition to Holocaust historiography and literature. It is accessible for students and teachers as well as the general reader. It provides a taste of what the world of Holocaust scholarship is actively engaged in--the constant exploration and understanding of the history of the murder of the Jews of Europe and the ongoing effect of these events on the world today. Hopefully, this book will stimulate others to read further and deeper." ยท H-German

Few essays about the Holocaust are better known or more important than Primo Levi's reflections on what he called "the gray zone," a reality in which moral ambiguity and compromise were pronounced. In this volume accomplished Holocaust scholars, among them Raul Hilberg, Gerhard L. Weinberg, Christopher Browning, Peter Hayes, and Lynn Rapaport, explore the terrain that Levi identified. Together they bring a necessary interdisciplinary focus to bear on timely and often controversial topics in cutting-edge Holocaust studies that range from historical analysis to popular culture. While each essay utilizes a particular methodology and argues for its own thesis, the volume as a whole advances the claim that the more we learn about the Holocaust, the more complex that event turns out to be. Only if ambiguities and compromises in the Holocaust and its aftermath are identified, explored, and at times allowed to remain--lest resolution deceive us--will our awareness of the Holocaust and its implications be as full as possible.

Jonathan Petropoulos is the John V. Croul Professor of European History and Director of the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies, at Claremont McKenna College.

John Roth is that Edward J. Sexton Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights, at Claremont McKenna College.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845453022
  • Publisher: Berghahn Books, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/2006
  • Series: War & Genocide, #8
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 440
  • Sales rank: 1,262,565
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonathan Petropoulos is the John V. Croul Professor of European History and Director of the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies, at Claremont McKenna College.

John Roth is that Edward J. Sexton Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights, at Claremont McKenna College.

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Table of Contents

Prologue : The gray zones of the Holocaust
Ch. 1 The ambiguities of evil and justice : Degussa, Robert Pross, and the Jewish slave laborers at Gleiwitz 7
Ch. 2 "Alleviation" and "compliance" : the survival strategies of the Jewish leadership in the Wierzbnik Ghetto and the Starachowice factory slave labor camps 26
Ch. 3 Between sanity and insanity : spheres of everyday life in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Sonderkommando 37
Ch. 4 Sonderkommando : testimony from Evidence 61
Ch. 5 A commentary on "gray zones" in Raul Hilberg's work 70
Ch. 6 Incompleteness in Holocaust historiography 81
Ch. 7 Choiceless choices : surviving on false papers on the "Aryan" side 97
Ch. 8 "Who am I?" : the struggle for religious identity of Jewish children hidden by Christians during the Shoah 107
Ch. 9 Hitler's Jewish soldiers 118
Ch. 10 A gray zone among the field gray men : confusion in the discrimination against homosexuals in the Wehrmacht 127
Ch. 11 Pleasure and evil : Christianity and the sexualization of Holocaust memory 147
Ch. 12 The gender of good and evil : women and Holocaust memory 165
Ch. 13 Hitler's "garden of Eden" in Ukraine : Nazi colonialism, Volksdeutsche, and the Holocaust, 1941-1944 185
Ch. 14 Life and death in the "gray zone" of Jewish ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe : the unknown, the ambiguous, and the disappeared 205
Ch. 15 "Almost-camps" in Paris : the difficult description of three annexes of Drancy - Austerlitz, Levitan, and Bassano, July 1943 to August 1944 222
Ch. 16 Alternate Holocausts and the mistrust of memory 240
Ch. 17 Laughter and heartache : the functions of humor in Holocaust tragedy 252
Ch. 18 The Holocaust in popular culture : master-narrative and counter-narratives in the gray zone 270
Ch. 19 The grey zone : the cinema of choiceless choices 286
Ch. 20 Gray into black : the case of Mordecai Chaim Rumkowski 299
Ch. 21 Catalyzing fascism : academic science in national socialist Germany and afterward 311
Ch. 22 Postwar justice and the treatment of Nazi assets 325
Ch. 23 The gray zones of Holocaust restitution : American justice and Holocaust morality 339
Ch. 24 The creation of ethical "gray zones" in the German Protestant church : reflections on the historical quest for ethical clarity 360
Ch. 25 Gray-zoned ethics : morality's double binds during and after the Holocaust 372
Epilogue : an intense wish to understand 390
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