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View Diary: The Shoah by Bullets (99 comments)

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  •  Timothy Snyder's NY review piece is worth a read (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jay Elias, dancewater, IreGyre, ramara, yaque

    The diary does have a somewhat oblique link to (Yale hist. prof) Timothy Snyder's July 16 piece in the NY Review of Books entitled Holocaust: The Ignored Reality, but that's where I first read about this "survivor's history" distortion of the Holocaust, and it really got me.  I had to read it three times.  They did an accompanying podcast interview which is also worthwhile IMHO.

    A taste of the article:

    This form of survivors' history, of which the works of Primo Levi are the most famous example, only inadequately captures the reality of the mass killing. The Diary of Anne Frank concerns assimilated European Jewish communities, the Dutch and German, whose tragedy, though horrible, was a very small part of the Holocaust. By 1943 and 1944, when most of the killing of West European Jews took place, the Holocaust was in considerable measure complete. Two thirds of the Jews who would be killed during the war were already dead by the end of 1942. The main victims, the Polish and Soviet Jews, had been killed by bullets fired over death pits or by carbon monoxide from internal combustion engines pumped into gas chambers at Treblinka, Be zec, and Sobibor in occupied Poland.

    Auschwitz as symbol of the Holocaust excludes those who were at the center of the historical event. [...]

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