Complicating the Holocaust

Who is a Victim? What is a Holocaust Memoir?
  • Elizabeth R. Baer


We have all had them: students in their first Holocaust course who enter with the easy assumption that the Holocaust happened because Hitler was a madman. And they are not necessarily happy when we complicate the issue for them by talking economics and anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism and ‘ordinary men’ and the risk of resistance. No, they prefer their villains and victims pure.


Political Correctness Modern Language Association Holocaust Study Catholic Encyclopedia Jewish Prisoner 
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  1. 1.
    Inga Clendinnen, Reading the Holocaust (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 3–4.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    For a thorough exploration of this limitation of von Galen’s concerns, see Beth A. Griech-Polelle, ‘A Pure Conscience is Good Enough: Bishop von Galen, the Nazis, and the Question of Resistance’ (Ph.D. Dissertation: Rutgers University, 1999).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    See, for example, Christa Paul, Zwangsprostitution: Staatlich errichtete Bordelle im Nationalsozialismus (Berlin: Edition Hentrich, 1994) andGoogle Scholar
  4. Christa Schulz, ‘Weibliche Häftlinge aus Ravensbrück in Bordellen der Männerkonzentrationslager’ in Claus Füllberg-Stoiberg et al. (eds.), Frauen in Konzentrationslagern Bergen-Belsen Ravensbrück (Bremen: Edition Temmen, 1994).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Guenter Lewy, ‘Non-Jewish Victims and the Issue of Balance in Holocaust Studies.’ Paper delivered at the Conference on ‘Holocaust Research and Holocaust Studies in the 21st Century’, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 14 December 1999, 1.Google Scholar
  6. 14.
    Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz (New York: Collier Books, 1961), 25.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth R. Baer

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