This is the poignant memoir of a man who has spent most of his lifetime immersed in the evidence of one of the great horrors in human history. It is both a record of how it affected him and a revelation of the surprising ways in which his monumental work was received by his contemporaries. Even after thirty-five years, Raul Hilberg s The ...
This is the poignant memoir of a man who has spent most of his lifetime immersed in the evidence of one of the great horrors in human history. It is both a record of how it affected him and a revelation of the surprising ways in which his monumental work was received by his contemporaries. Even after thirty-five years, Raul Hilberg s The Destruction of the European Jews remains the most distinguished and comprehensive analysis of the Nazi destruction process. Yet at the time it was written, as Mr. Hilberg recounts in The Politics of Memory, both the manuscript and its subject matter were rejected by major publishers and university presses; and in the wake of publication the author faced a hostile reception from those who refused to believe that the Jews were less than heroic in their journey to the gas chambers. How his study was used and abused especially by Hannah Arendt, Lucy Dawidowicz, and Nora Levin draws Mr. Hilberg s attention, as does the more admiring reception for Destruction in Europe than in America. The Politics of Memory brings full circle a scholarly enterprise that in many ways has been a terrible calling. A courageous, powerful portrait of one scholar s self-directed search for truth. Toronto Globe and Mail."
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Publishers Weekly, 1996-06-10 In his writings, eminent Holocaust historian Hilberg (The Destruction of the European Jews) has argued that the Nazi genocide was a bureaucratic, decentralized process, and that the "Final Solution," the plan for total annihilation of European Jewry, was not formulated until 1941. By highlighting the role of the Jewish councils, which he views as agents of accommodation with the German apparatus, and by investigating what he perceives as Jewish victims' lack of resistance, Hilberg has drawn the wrath of scholarly critics. In this defensive, dryly written, sometimes acrimonious memoir, he settles scores with his opponents, notably Holocaust historian Lucy Dawidowicz, and sharply distances himself from Hannah Arendt and her notion of the "banality of evil." Professor emeritus of political science at the University of Vermont, Hilberg relives personal moments of intense drama, as when he escaped Austria with his family in 1939 at the age of 13 or when he arrived in Munich as an American soldier at war's end. There, in the former Nazi party headquarters, he discovered Hitler's private library packed in crates. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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