The recording, explanation and the inescapable task of judginggreat wrongs in the past presents historians with their mostdifficult assignment. For those who have either lived through suchinjustice or have been in some way responsible for it theimpositions of memory are both painful and unavoidable. Memoryshapes the future, and the recollections of past suffering hauntand may overwhelm generations long after.In 1938 the National Socialist Party in Germany began the finalpreparations for the systematic genocide of the Jews throughoutEurope. For the Jews, whose national loyalties had long exceededany ties of ethnicity, the programme of extermination was an actnot merely of monstrous cruelty but of humiliation andtreachery.In Holocaust Remembrance scholars, artists and writers consider theways in which the events of 1938-1945 have been, might be, and willbe remembered. The records of the Holocaust are vast and various,ranging from the museum at Auschwitz to the cartoons of ArtSpiegelman, from the dark paintings of R. B. Kitaj to the elegaicstories of Primo Levi, from the filmed testimonies of the deathcamp survivors to revisionist historians who usurp the name ofscholar in the pursuit of denial and evasion.The perspectives brought to bear here are rich and various -impassioned, objective, personal, poetical, historical andphilosophical. They are united by an awareness of the dangers bothof respectful silence and overwhelming information, and that onlyin remembering can an understanding of the past be sought and humankind redeemed from the forces of humiliation and guilt.
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About the Author
Geoffrey Hartman is also Revson Project Director of the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies.
Table of Contents
Darkness Visible: Geoffrey Hartman.
1. On Testimony: Annette Wieviork (Centre National de RechercheScientifique, Paris).
2. The Library of Jewish Catastrophe: David Roskies (JewishTheological Seminary of America).
3. Voices from the Killing Ground: Sara Horowitz (University ofDelaware).
4. Jean Amery as Witness: Alvin Rosenfeld (IndianaUniversity).
5. Remembering Survival: Lawrence Langer (Simmons College).
6. Christian Witness and the Shoah: David Tracy (University ofChicago).
7. Film as Witness: Lanzmann's Shoah: Shoshana Felman (YaleUniversity).
8. Charlotte Salomon's Inward-Turning Testimony: Mary Felstiner(San Francisco State University).
9. 'Varschreibt!': R. B. Kitaj.
10. Conversation in the Cemetery: Dan Pagis and the Prosaics ofMemory: Sidra Ezrahi (Hebrew University of Jerusalem).
11. Chinese History and Jewish Memory: Vera Schwarcz (WesleyanUniversity).
12. The Awakening: Aharon Applefeld.
13. Facing the Glass Booth: Haim Gouri.
14. The Andean Waltz: Leo Spitzer (Dartmouth College).
15. German-Jewish Memory and National Consciousness: MiriamHansen & Michael Geyer (both University of Chicago).
16. Negating the Dead: Nadine Fresco (Centre National deRecherche Scientique, Paris).
17. 'The First Blow': Projects for the Camp at Fossoli: GiovanniLeoni.
18. Jewish Memory in Poland: James Young (University ofMassachusetts, Amherst).
19. Reclaining Auschwwitz: Deborah Dwork & Robert Jan vanPelt (Yale Child Study Center & University of BritishColumbia).
20. Memory, Trauma and the Writing of History: Saul Friedlander(Tel Aviv University). 'Liberation' (poem): Abraham Sutzkever.