Post-Holocaust: Interpretation, Misinterpretation, and the Claims of History

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“These essays are extremely well written, with the clarity and accessibility that one has come to expect from Berel Lang, one of the most respected and significant philosophers ... writing about the Holocaust and its impact.” —Michael L. Morgan In these trenchant essays, philosopher Berel Lang examines post-Holocaust intepretations—and misinterpretations—showing the ways in which rhetoric and ideology have affected historical discourse about the Holocaust and how these accounts can be deconstructed. Why didn’t the Jews resist? How could the Germans have done what they did? Why didn’t more bystanders join in the rescue? In Lang’s view, these questions become mischievous when the circumstances in which victims, perpetrators, and bystanders played their roles are omitted or obscured. To confront such issues adequately requires comparative and contextual evidence. Post-Holocaust addresses such questions as the place of the Holocaust in the Nazi project as a whole, the roles of revenge and forgiveness in post-Holocaust Jewish thinking, Holocaust commemoration as artifice or “business,” and the relationship of the Holocaust to traditional antisemitism. Lang’s analysis provides an incisive and fruitful basis for confronting these critical subjects. Jewish Literature and Culture—Alvin H. Rosenfeld, editor Read more Show Less

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Overview

"These essays are extremely well written, with the clarity and accessibility that one has come to expect from Berel Lang, one of the most respected and significant philosophers writing about the Holocaust and its impact." —Michael L. Morgan

In these trenchant essays, philosopher Berel Lang examines post-Holocaust intepretations—and misinterpretations—showing the ways in which rhetoric and ideology have affected historical discourse about the Holocaust and how these accounts can be deconstructed. Why didn’t the Jews resist? How could the Germans have done what they did? Why didn’t more bystanders join in the rescue? In Lang’s view, these questions become mischievous when the circumstances in which victims, perpetrators, and bystanders played their roles are omitted or obscured. To confront such issues adequately requires comparative and contextual evidence. Post-Holocaust addresses such questions as the place of the Holocaust in the Nazi project as a whole, the roles of revenge and forgiveness in post-Holocaust Jewish thinking, Holocaust commemoration as artifice or
"business," and the relationship of the Holocaust to traditional antisemitism.
Lang’s analysis provides an incisive and fruitful basis for confronting these critical subjects.

Jewish Literature and Culture—Alvin H. Rosenfeld, editor

Indiana University Press

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"These essays are extremely well written, with the clarity and accessibility that one has come to expect from Berel Lang, one of the most respected and significant philosophers writing about the Holocaust and is impact."
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253345011
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Series: Jewish Literature and Culture Series
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Berel Lang is Professor of Humanities at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He is author of Act and Idea in the Nazi Genocide; Holocaust Representation: Art within the Limits of
History and Ethics; and The Future of the Holocaust: Between History and Memory.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Part I. In the Matter of
Justice
1. The Nazi as Criminal: Inside and Outside the Holocaust
2. Forgiveness,
Revenge, and the Limits of Holocaust Justice
3. Evil, Suffering, and the
Holocaust
4. Comparative Evil: Measuring Numbers, Degrees, People
Part II.
Language and Lessons
5. The Grammar of Antisemitism
6. The Unspeakable vs. the
Testimonial: Holocaust Trauma in Holocaust History
7. Undoing Certain Mischievous Questions about the Holocaust
8. From the Particular to the Universal, and Forward: Representations and Lessons
Part III. For and Against Interpretation
9. Oskar Rosenfeld and
Historiographic Realism (in Sex, Shit, and Status)
10. Lachrymose without Tears: Misreading the Holocaust in American Life
11. "Not Enough" vs. "Plenty": Which Did Pius
XII?
12. The Evil in Genocide
13. Misinterpretation as the Author's Responsibility
(Nietzsche's Fascism, for Instance)
Afterword: Philosophy and/of the
Holocaust
Notes
Index

Indiana University Press

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