Joining Forces to Comprehend the Jewish Catastrophe

Laura Jockusch

in Collect and Record!

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199764556
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979578 | DOI:
Joining Forces to Comprehend the Jewish Catastrophe

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This chapter returns to the 1947 Holocaust conference in Paris and explores the interaction of the Jewish historical commissions and documentation centers with one another and with the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York and Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. Delegates from Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Israel, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and the United States debated common goals and methods while attempting to organize a European team to research and document the Holocaust globally and in comparative perspective. Ultimately, the endeavor to coordinate research across national borders and write comparative history on the Holocaust did not succeed due to internal divisions among the researchers and the growing political divide between east and west. Nevertheless, the conference demonstrated the sophistication and sensitivity of survivors’ early postwar Holocaust documentation and served as a starting point for many later methodological and ideological debates regarding the sources, audience, and purpose of Holocaust historiography.

Keywords: comparative history; France; Holocaust conference; Holocaust historiography; Israel; methodology; sources; YIVO Institute for Jewish Research; Yad Vashem

Chapter.  12062 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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