Chapter

Instrumentalising the Holocaust: from universalisation to relativism

David Bruce Macdonald

in Balkan Holocausts?

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9780719064661
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700198 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719064661.003.0003
Instrumentalising the Holocaust: from universalisation to relativism

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There was much in Serbian and Croatian nationalism that relied on the Zionist contribution to the history of ideas. For nineteenth-century Zionists, the presence of anti-Semitism confirmed for some that the only way the Jewish people would be free of persecution was through their own Redemption in a territorially bounded nation-state. Zionists modernised cyclical teleology and used it to create their own state, free from the horrors of centuries of discriminatory legislation, pogrom, and massacre. Perhaps the most important aspect of Zionism, however, was something over which they had little control. The Holocaust, which occurred between 1941 and 1945, saw almost six million Jews systematically killed by the German Nazi regime — arguably the greatest Fall in the history of Judaism. Some viewed the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 as the greatest recompense and Redemption since the restoration of the Kingdom some 2,000 years before. An important concept throughout this work is the idea of performing, or acting out, a genocide.

Keywords: Fall; nationalism; Redemption; Zionism; Jews; Holocaust; Israel; anti-Semitism; genocide; teleology

Chapter.  11745 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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