Der Holocaust und die westdeutschen Historiker: Erforschung und Erinnerung

TitleDer Holocaust und die westdeutschen Historiker: Erforschung und Erinnerung
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsBerg, Nicolas
Number of Pages768

History and memory, according to Charles Péguy at the beginning of the century, are at a "right angle" to each other: the first runs parallel to the event, the latter runs vertically through it. Nicolas Berg shows how the relationship of German postwar historiography to the Nazi extermination of Jews can only be historicized by looking at both at the same time. He complements the historiographic-historical approach with the history of memory and asks not only about the state of knowledge over the decades, but also about its respective historicity and its change. The focus of the analysis is the changing concept of "Auschwitz" in West German historiography from the end of World War II to the present discussion. Both the tensions between the perspectives of different generations and the disputes over the appropriate theories, methods, and terms are illuminated. Not only the canonized key writings are consulted, but also life-history texts such as correspondence, diaries, memoirs, and autobiographies are considered, many of them from archival collections. That there was a Jewish outsider perspective behind the famously troublesome German historical memory of the Holocaust, which for many years was denied scholarly value, is evident from the rejection of the work of Joseph Wulf, which is rehabilitated for the first time in this study.

Translated TitleThe Holocaust and West German Historians: Research and Memory
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