The continued presence of the past: new directions in Holocaust writing?

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Abstract

2005 was a year of commemoration and remembrance. Sixty years since the end of the Second World War. Sixty years since the liberation of Auschwitz. Sixty years of trying to comprehend and deal with the extent of organized mass-murder committed during the twelve years of Nazi dictatorship. On the publishing front, 2005 saw a renewed upsurge in scholarly titles dedicated to the Holocaust and the Third Reich in what seems a general reorientation for new perspectives. The ranks of actual witnesses to and survivors of the Holocaust are inexorably thinning, and instead of new memoirs by survivors one now increasingly finds second- or third-generation, postmemory, or fictional accounts of the Holocaust alongside scholarly treatises on varying aspects of the Third Reich and its reign of terror. The books discussed here are indicative of this broad range of themes and approaches that can presently be found in Holocaust and Third Reich writing; they range from traditional literature analysis (albeit with new perspectives and/or examining hitherto neglected authors) to historical discussions about Jewish life in postwar Germany and, intriguingly, tourism during the Nazi era.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-575
Number of pages9
JournalModernism/Modernity
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006

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