A Holocaust Syndrome?

Jacob S. Eder

in Holocaust Angst

Published in print September 2016 | ISBN: 9780190237820
Published online August 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780190237851 | DOI:
A Holocaust Syndrome?

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  • History of the Americas
  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter examines the relationship between the Kohl government and the American Jewish community during the 1980s. Helmut Kohl wanted to “normalize” West Germans’ relationship to the Nazi past. The unprecedented boom in American Holocaust memorial culture, however, challenged such policies, especially with regard to the image of Germany abroad. The chancellor and his closest advisors personally dealt with and reacted to these issues, and they perceived relations with American Jewish organizations as a particular challenge in this context. The chapter explores some of the most contentious episodes of German–Jewish relations during the 1980s, such as the Bitburg controversy and German plans to sell arms to Saudi Arabia, but also explores how German diplomats and politicians at home dealt with American memory of the Holocaust, as well as Jewish organizations and Holocaust survivors in the United States.

Keywords: Helmut Kohl; Ronald Reagan; Bitburg; anti-Semitism; Israel; Saudi Arabia; Holocaust survivors; American Jewish Committee; Konrad Adenauer Foundation; politics of history

Chapter.  15204 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas ; Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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