“These essays are extremely well written, with the clarity and accessibility that one has come to expect from Berel Lang, one of the most respected and significant philosophers writing about the Holocaust and its impact.” —Michael L. Morgan
In these trenchant essays, philosopher Berel Lang examines post-Holocaust intepretations—and misinterpretations—showing the ways in which rhetoric and ideology have affected historical discourse about the Holocaust and how these accounts can be deconstructed. Why didn’t the Jews resist? How could the Germans have done what they did? Why didn’t more bystanders join in the rescue? In Lang’s view, these questions become mischievous when the circumstances in which victims, perpetrators, and bystanders played their roles are omitted or obscured. To confront such issues adequately requires comparative and contextual evidence. Post-Holocaust addresses such questions as the place of the Holocaust in the Nazi project as a whole, the roles of revenge and forgiveness in post-Holocaust Jewish thinking, Holocaust commemoration as artifice or “business,” and the relationship of the Holocaust to traditional antisemitism. Lang’s analysis provides an incisive and fruitful basis for confronting these critical subjects.
Jewish Literature and Culture—Alvin H. Rosenfeld, editor