The Holocaust and Other Genocides: History, Representation, Ethics / Edition 1

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The Nazi genocide of the Jews, while unique in some ways, was not the only genocide of the twentieth century. This innovative book, the product of a year-long collaboration of scholars from many disciplines, is the first curriculum to systematically tie the teaching of the Holocaust to an analysis of the genocides in Armenia, Bosnia and Kosovo, and Rwanda.

The book consists of five parts: introduction; history of the Holocaust; representations of the Holocaust in literature, film, and the arts; other genocides; and ethics. The curriculum, shaped with feedback from those who teach Holocaust studies, consists mainly of primary documents and their analysis. Each section includes a general introduction to a body of knowledge that reflects current research and detailed introductions to particular documents. Throughout the book, there are provocative discussion questions and suggestions for further reading and other resources. Each section features "links" to other parts to encourage interdisciplinary reflection. The final section on ethics addresses the difficult questions raised by genocide.

The Holocaust and Other Genocides is designed as a model for flexible, innovative teaching about this complex subject. It is also a sophisticated, interdisciplinary effort to create the conditions for discussing and understanding the genocides of the twentieth century.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

In an age when violence seems to surround us, studying the Holocaust and other genocides is more critical in understanding the modern human experience. This volume represents a unique collaboration of scholars and teachers to provide a flexible curriculum that can help tell the story of genocides, of which the Holocaust looms as most significant.
--Stephen Feinstein, Director, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, University of Minnesota

Thoughtful questions are at the heart of the educational process. The Holocaust and Other Genocides, an unusually fine and creative curriculum about the Holocaust and other genocides, is filled with questions that will stimulate continuing inquiry on the part of teachers and students alike. And it will keep them in dialogue with one another.
--Carol Rittner, Distinguished Professor of Holocaust Studies, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

Much-needed, well-informed, distinctive and comprehensive-these are only a few of the recommending words deserved by The Holocaust and Other Genocides, a book that will be immensely valuable to teachers and students alike.
--John K. Roth, Russell K. Pitzer Professor of Philosophy, Claremont McKenna College

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826514035
  • Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Helmut Walser Smith is associate professor of history at Vanderbilt University. He is the author of German Nationalism and Religious Conflict (1995), The Butcher's Tale: Murder and Anti-Semitism in a German Town (August 2002), and co-editor of Exclusionary Violence: Antisemitic Riots in Modern German History (2001) and Protestants, Catholics and Jews in Germany, 1800-1914 (2001).
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xv
Preface xvii
Contributors xxi
Part I
History of the Holocaust 1
1 From Religious Prejudice to Racism 3
1.1 Images of Jews in the Medieval Period 7
1.2 The Jews and Their Lies by Martin Luther, 1543 8
1.3 Political Statement by Adolf Hitler, September 16, 1919 10
Questions 11
Further Reading 12
2 The Creation of a Racist Society 13
2.1 Signs of Racism, Symbols of Segregation 18
2.2 Excerpts from the Texts of the Nuremberg Laws 20
2.3 Combating the Gypsy Nuisance by Heinrich Himmler,
December 8, 1938 24
2.4 Report on Crystal Night from Berlin 25
2.5 Public Reactions to the Yellow Star and Deportations 26
Questions 27
Further Reading 29
3 The Killing Process 30
3.1 Protocol of the Wannsee Conference, January 20, 1942 38
3.2 Images of the Warsaw Ghetto 47
3.3 Excerpt from the Warsaw Ghetto Diary of Avraham Levin,
Friday, June 5, 1942 48
3.4 Chaim Rumkowski's Address on the Deportation of the Children from the Lodz Ghetto, September 4, 1942 48
3.5 The Jäger Report 50
3.6 Testimony of Hermann Graebe, November 10, 1945 58
3.7 Excerpts from There Once Was a World by Yaffa Eliach 59
3.8 German Railway Schedule, January 16, 1943 61
3.9 Abraham Kszepicki on Treblinka 64
Questions 66
Further Reading 70
4 Resistance and Rescue 71
4.1 Olga Lengyel, Resister in Auschwitz 78
4.2 From Page 12 of the Nashville Tennessean, June 30, 1942:
1,000,000 Jews Said Killed by Germans 80
4.3 Bishop of Münster, Clemens August Count von Galen,
Protests "Euthanasia" Killings, August 3, 1941 81
4.4 Magda Trocmé (of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon) in
The Courage to Care 82
Questions 84
Further Reading 86
Timeline 87
Glossary 89
Part II
Representations of the Holocaust in the Arts 91
5 Language and the Holocaust 93
5.1 A Comparison of Names 94
Questions 98
6 Literature and the Holocaust 100
Prose 100
6.1 Discussion of Elie Wiesel's Night 101
6.2 Discussion of Art Spiegelman's Maus: A Survivor's Tale 104
6.3 Discussion of Tadeusz Borowski's This Way for the Gas,
Ladies and Gentlemen 110
6.4 Discussion of Ida Fink's "The Shelter" 111
Poetry 112
6.5 The Butterfly by Pavel Friedmann 113
6.6 For My Child by Abraham Sutzkever 114
Contents ix
6.7 Written in Pencil in the Sealed Railway-Car by Dan Pagis 115
6.8 You Onlookers by Nelly Sachs 116
Questions 117
Further Reading 120
7 Monuments and Memorials 121
7.1 Warsaw Ghetto Monument 125
7.2 Treblinka 128
Questions 130
8 Photographs 131
8.1 Selection of Hungarian Jews for Extermination 132
8.2 Tower of Faces, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum,
Washington, D.C. 133
8.3 General Dwight Eisenhower and Other Officers
Examine Corpses at Ohrdruf, April 12, 1945 135
Questions 136
Further Reading 136
9 Film 137
9.1 Discussion of Au revoir les enfants (Good-bye Children) 138
9.2 Discussion of Night and Fog (Nuit et brouilliard) 142
Questions 144
Other Films 145
Part III
Other Genocides 147
10 The Armenian Genocide 149
The Armenians in the Ottoman Empire 150
The Armenians Under the Young Turks 151
Genocide 153
Perpetrators, Bystanders, Rescuers 154
International Response 155
10.1 Pan-Turkism: Excerpt from Ambassador Morgenthau's Story by Henry Morgenthau 159
10.2 The Deportations: Excerpt from the Report of
Lieutenant Sayied Ahmed Moukhtar Baas, December 26, 1916 160
10.3 Talaat: Excerpt from Ambassador Morgenthau's Story by Henry Morgenthau 162
10.4 An Ambiguous Rescue Story: Excerpt from the Testimony of Aram Kilichjian 166
10.5 Report to the German Government: Letter from Ambassador Wolff-Metternich to
Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg, July 10, 1916 167
10.6 Germany's Interests: Meeting of the Imperial Budget Committee,
September 29, 1916, Notes of the State Secretary 168
10.7 Starting Over? Excerpt from Black Dog of Fate:
An American Son Uncovers His Armenian Past by Peter Balakian 169
Questions 171
Timeline 175
Glossary 177
Further Reading 178
11. Bosnia and Kosovo 179
Background 180
Genocide 181
Perpetrators, Bystanders, Rescuers 184
International Response 184
11.1 Peter Maass in Conversation with a Serbian Woman 188
11.2 Chronology of "Ethnic Cleansing" 189
11.3 Images of War by Children of Former Yugoslavia 190
11.4 The Mind of the Perpetrators 193
11.5 Days in the Life of Bosnian Inmates, 1992 193
Questions 194
Timeline 196
Glossary 198
Further Reading 200
12. Rwanda 201
Tutsis and Hutus 202
Ideology and Propaganda 203
The Killing Begins 204
Perpetrators, Bystanders, Rescuers 205
International Response 206
Aftermath 206
12.1 Excerpt from Leave None to Tell the Story:
Genocide in Rwanda by Alison Des Forges 208
12.2 The Hutu Ten Commandments, 1990 210
12.3 The Interahamwe: Excerpt from an Interview with Gloriose Mukakanimba, May 21, 1994 211
12.4 The Corruption of Language: Common Euphemisms of the Holocaust and the Genocide in Rwanda 212
12.5 Initial Response of the U.S. Government: Excerpt from a
PBS Frontline Interview with Tony Marley, a Former Official of the U.S. State Department 213
12.6 Excerpt from President Bill Clinton's Address to the People of Rwanda, March 25, 1998 216
Questions 218
Timeline 221
Glossary 222
Further Reading 222
Part IV
Ethics 223
13 Ethical Questioning 225
13.1 Is Prejudice a Prelude to Annihilation? 229
13.2 Is Genocide More Than Mass Murder? 232
13.3 What Is a Choiceless Choice and the Extent of Moral Blame? 235
13.4 How Does Good Happen? 239
13.5 What Are the Limits of Forgiveness and Reconciliation? 241
13.6 How Have Christians Responded to the Holocaust? 244
13.7 What Is the Relationship Between Ethics and Remembrance? 248
Questions 249
Further Reading
Index 257
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  • Posted October 25, 2008


    I havent read the book, but just wanted to inquire as to what would constitute a genocide, since apparently 1.6 million dead Armenians is not enough to satisfy the other reviewer? This is exactly the problem since Turkey, unlike Germany, has refused to acknowledge the atrocities that were commited.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2003

    No Armenian Genocide

    The mankind only knows and recognizes one genocide i.e Jewish Holocaust. In fact, armenians along with russians have been murdering hundreds of thousands of Turks, Azerbaijanis since 1915. Unfortunately, the world does not want to see these tragedies. It is sad to know that the global community supports the nation that committed so many crimes against Turkey and Azerbaijan through their terrorist organization ASALA

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