The Memory of Judgment: Making Law and History in the Trials of the Holocaustby Lawrence Douglas
Pub. Date: 05/28/2001
Publisher: Yale University Press
This powerful book offers the first detailed examination of the law's response to the crimes of the Holocaust. It provides a vivid, fascinating study of five exemplary proceedings -- the Nuremberg trial of the major Nazi war criminals, the Israeli trials of Adolf Eichmann and John Demjanjuk, the French trial of Klaus Barbie, and the Canadian trial of Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel. These trials, the book argues, were "show trials" in the broadest sense: they aimed to do justice both to the defendants and to the history and memory of the Holocaust.
Lawrence Douglas explores how prosecutors and jurors struggled to submit unprecedented crimes to legal judgment, and in so doing, to reconcile the interests of justice and pedagogy. Against the attacks of such critics as Hannah Arendt, Douglas defends the Nuremberg and Eichmann trials as imaginative, if flawed, responses to extreme crimes. By contrast, he shows how the Demjanjuk and Zundel trials turned into disasters of didactic legality, obfuscating the very history they were intended to illuminate.
In their successes and shortcomings, Douglas contends, these proceedings changed our understanding of both the Holocaust and the legal process -- revealing the value and limits of the criminal trial as a didactic tool.
- Yale University Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.38(w) x 9.58(h) x 0.90(d)
Table of Contents
|1||Film as Witness: Screening Nazi Concentration Camps Before the Nuremberg Tribunal||11|
|2||The Idiom of Judgment: Crimes Against Humanity||38|
|3||The Father Pointed to the Sky: Legitimacy and Tortured History||65|
|4||Ada Lichtmann on the Stand||97|
|5||The Court vs. the Prosecution: Policing Survivor Testimony||123|
|6||Didactic Legality and Heroic Memory||150|
|7||Retrials and Precursors: Klaus Barbie and John Demjanjuk||185|
|8||"Did Six Million Really Die?": Holocaust Denial and the Law||212|
|9||Historians and Hearsay: The Denial Trials of Ernst Zundel||226|
|10||The Legal Imagination and Traumatic History||257|
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A marvelous read on a fascinating topic.