Citizens of the Holocaust

in The War Complex

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780226808550
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226808796 | DOI:
Citizens of the Holocaust

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This chapter explores the theme of ordinary people who did not experience but grew up with knowledge of the Holocaust. It consists of discrete but linked sections that explore the state of private and public discourse among what we might call citizens of the Holocaust. It includes under that term all those who feel involvement, connection, responsibility, and a sense of belonging with regard to the Holocaust—and also, therefore, not just the possibility of or imperative for ethical thought and action, but also more disparate and covert feelings of possessiveness, obsession, shame, guilt, secretiveness, hesitancy, and blockage. Two of the sections are analytic. The rest falls under the categories of oral and personal history, which are important to track emotions as they interact with public discourse and with recorded history. The final section deals with the theme of ethical action, working with Alain Badiou's concept of the immortal.

Keywords: Holocaust; ethical thought; personal history; oral history; public discourse; Alain Badiou

Chapter.  10820 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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