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National Responses to the Holocaust

National Identity and Public Memory

Edited by Jennifer Taylor

The Holocaust is an international event, its the brutal crimes happened in specific places and are remembered, to a large degree, in various national discourses. The essays in this book examine the complex and often ambiguous relationship between national identity and the legacy of the Holocaust in countries including Lithuania, Poland, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, the United States, and Israel. Specificity about place and national context matters very much when we talk and write about the Holocaust, and this book takes up important questions about the relationship between the traumatic past and our sense of place, language, and cultural or political identity in the post-Holocaust world.

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University Press Copublishing Division / University of Delaware Press
Pages: 214Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/4
978-1-61149-056-5 • Hardback • December 2013 • $75.00 • (£49.95)
978-1-61149-598-0 • Paperback • October 2015 • $39.99 • (£24.95)
Jennifer Taylor is associate professor of German Studies in the department of modern languages and literatures at the College of William and Mary.
Chapter 1 Introduction
Part 2 Part I. Western Europe: Austria and France
Chapter 3 Chapter 1: Staging Austria's Past in Contemporary Vienna: Robert Schindel's 2002 Film Adaptation of Gebürtig
Chapter 4 Chapter 2: From g&$233;nocide to le shoah: Changing Patterns in Documentary Representations of the Holocaust in France
Chapter 5 Chapter 3: Death in Vienna: Horrible Modernity in Michael Haneke's The Seventh Continent
Part 6 Part II. Eastern Europe; Poland and Lithuania
Chapter 7 Chapter 4: Lithuanian Nationalism and the Holocaust: Public Expressions of Memory in Museums and Sites of Memory in Vilnius, Lithuania
Chapter 8 Chapter 5: Soil of Annihilation: Czeslaw Milosz's Pastoral Poland and the Holocaust
Chapter 9 Chapter 6: Disgrace and Torment: The Holocaust in Zofia Nalkowska's Medallions
Part 10 Part III. American Tales: The Holocaust in Novels, Hollywood, and the International Oscars
Chapter 11 Chapter 7: Vulnerability in Spielberg's America: Schindler's List and the Ethic of Commerce
Chapter 12 Chapter 8: The Erotics of Auschwitz: An American Tale
Chapter 13 Chapter 9: Reading Holocaust Fiction at the End of the Twentieth Century: Jakob and the Liar and
Focusing on Austria, East Germany, France, Israel, Italy, Poland, Lithuania, and the US, these ten essays analyze films, novels, stories, poetry, and museums to reveal the country's dominant Holocaust narrative–a narrative determined by the role the population of the country played in the Holocaust and the prevailing self-image of the nation. The contributors define a country's dominant Holocaust discourse (and competing counter narrative) by studying how cultural works reflect trauma, guilt, and collaboration. Austria and France play down direct collaboration in the Holocaust; Poland and Lithuania emphasize victimhood rather than direct involvement in mass murder; the former East Germany equated persecution of communists with that of others; the US highlights itself as land of redemptive new beginnings; Israel accentuates homecoming. The essays also analyze works that emphasize the counter narrative or debunk works reflecting the mainstream discourse. Films analyzed include Night and Fog, The Sorrow and the Pity, Shoah, Schindler's List, and Life Is Beautiful, to name just a few. Also examined are Holocaust reports in the work of Zofia Nalkowska, Czesław Miłosz, Sherri Szeman, Aharon Appelfeld, Yoram Kaniuk, Yehudit Hendel, and Shesh Knafayim, and three historical museums in Lithuania. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and researchers.