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The Crime of Complicity: The Bystander in the Holocaust

The Crime of Complicity: The Bystander in the Holocaust

by Amos N. Guiora


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Complicity is a ground-breaking examination of the legal culpability of the bystander told through the lens of the author’s family experiences in the Holocaust. It provides an exploration of three distinct events: the death marches; the German occupation of Holland; and the German occupation of Hungary, all of which allow an in-depth discussion of the role of the bystander in varied circumstances. Through a narrative of his parents’ stories, Amos Guiora, Professor of Law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah, author, and former Lieutenant Colonel in the Israel Defense Force, poses the question of whether there can and should be legal liability in deciding not to act to aid another person in distress. It draws upon a wide range of historical, psychological, sociological and archival material in an effort to determine the legal and moral responsibility of the bystander. Includes book club discussion questions!

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781634257312
Publisher: Ankerwycke
Publication date: 04/04/2017
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Author bio: Amos N. Guiora is Professor of Law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law, the University of Utah and Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) in the Israel Defense Force. He is actively involved in the effort to legislate Holocaust-Genocide education in Utah public schools. He is the author of several books, including Freedom from Religion: Rights and National Security (2009) and Tolerating Intolerance: The Price of Protecting Extremism (2014).

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction 1

1 Where I Come From-Who I Am 11

2 My Family 37

3 Historical Background 53

4 Death Marches, Holland, and Hungary 65

5 The Bystander and the Victim 85

6 The Crime of Complicity 105

7 Duty Owed is a Legal Obligation-The Bystander's Legal Obligation 121

8 Maastricht, The Netherlands: Summer 2016 141

9 Hungary: The Ultimate Bystander? 165

10 Moving Forward: The Bystander as Crime 181

11 Where Do We Go From Here? 195

Afterword 199

Appendix 207

Index 209

Book Club Questions 219

What People are Saying About This

Paul Cliteur

It is very difficult to find the right words to describe the horror portrayed in this book. But Amos Guiora has done this, and he has done this very well. Highly recommended. -Paul Cliteur, Professor of Jurisprudence, Leiden University and author of The Fall and Rise of Blasphemy Law

Rev. Dr. John C. Lentz Jr.

The Crime of Complicity is a multi-layered work. It combines personal memoir, historical research, legal opinion, and a moral ethical challenge. In this time of renewed hate speech, intolerance, bullying, and profiling, Amos N. Guiora's book is a hard read but it brings us face-to-face with an issue we cannot ignore except at our peril. -Rev. Dr. John C. Lentz, Jr., Senior Pastor, Forest Hill Church, Presbyterian, Cleveland

Tom Zwart

This impressive book is a powerful mix of personal engagement and professional scholarship. Although the injustice done to the Jews during WWII was indescribable, Amos Guiora succeeds in putting it into words. In a book which many will find difficult to put down, he describes how good-willing people suffered from the complicity of bystanders. Through his attractive journalistic style he very well succeeds in bringing these people, most of whom are members of his own family, to life. Understandably, Guiora must have been close to throwing in the towel a few times. By not giving in to that temptation he did his readers and history writing a huge favour. -Tom Zwart, Professor of Human Rights, Utrecht University

Avner de Shalit

Some books you enjoy; with some you are impressed. But this book will change the way you think about life, no less. From the surprising, sincere and personal opening, through the disturbing interviews with bystanders and survivors, to the profound philosophical reflections, Amos Guiora intertwines the personal with the objective, the emotive with the scientific in a most thought-provoking manner. -Avner de Shalit, Max Kampelman Professor of Democracy and Human Rights, Department of Political Science, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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