Holocaust

Article excerpt

Holocaust

Breaking Crystal: Writing and Memory after Auschwitz, edited by Efraim Sicher. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1998. 376 pp. ISBN 0-252-02280-7 (c); 0-252-06656-1 (p).

This book considers the following questions: Who are the second generation, and why have they come to be so affected by events they did not experience? How will this generation transmit the memory of the "Final Solution" to their children and into the twenty-first century? The contributors come from disciplines such as history, politics,-literature, film, and psychology.

Exile: A Memoir of 1939, by Bronka Schneider. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1998. 136 pp. ISBN 0-8142-0808-8.

Bronka Schneider and her husband, Joseph, were two of the 30,000 Austrian Jews admitted as refugees to Great Britain between March 1938 and 2 September 1939. This memoir recounts the year Bronka spent as a housekeeper, with Joseph as a butler, in a Scottish castle.

Hitler's Vienna: A Dictator's Apprenticeship, by Brigitte Hamann. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. 512 pp. ISBN 0-19-512537-1.

Brigitte Hamann considers the profound influence Austro-Hungary's capital held over the life of Adolf Hitler. The Vienna Hitler knew was populated by a segment of society that rejected Viennese modernity, dismissing it as "degenerate," too international, too "Jewish," and too libertine. In this Vienna self-improvement meant belonging to the "noble German people."

The Holocaust: Memories, Research, Reference, edited by Robert Hauptman. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press, 1998. 320 pp. ISBN 0-7890-0379-1.

A collection of poems, essays, and commentaries on a wide variety of Holocaustrelated topics including the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, teaching the Holocaust to high school students, comparative genocide studies, Holocaust denial literature, etc.

Holocaust Scholars Write to the Vatican, edited by Harry James Cargas. Contributions to the Study of Religion, No. 58. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1998. 176 pp. ISBN 0-313-30487-4.

If you had a chance to speak to the Pope, what would you say? This is the question that 13 Holocaust scholars -- Christians of various denominations and Jews -- address in this volume. The Roman Catholic hierarchy has offered very little official discourse on the Church's role in the Holocaust. These essays provide constructive criticism and contribute to both Holocaust and Christian studies.

The House by the Sea: A Portrait of the Holocaust in Greece, by Rebecca Fromer. San Francisco: Mercury House, 1999. 192 pp. ISBN 1-56279-105-2.

Rebecca Fromer collaborates in this book with Elia Aelion, one of the few HoloCaust survivors from Salonika. Salonika before the Nazis was a city of 36 synagogues with a Jewish history of 500 years. From memories of pre-war Salonika, the book recounts the Nazi occupation, the defeat of the Greek army, Elia's escape to Athens and attempts to return to Salonika, and the annihilation of his family.

Moral Responsibility in the Holocaust: A Study in the Ethics of Character, by David H. Jones. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1999. 272 pp. ISBN 0-8476-9267-1.

In this book David H. Jones addresses the moral responsibility of individuals involved in the Holocaust. While defending the view that individuals caught up in large-scale historical events like the Holocaust are still responsible for their choices, he provides the philosophical tools needed to assess the responsibility, both negative and positive, of perpetrators, accomplices, bystanders, victims, helpers, and rescuers.

On Burning Ground: A Son's Memoir, by Michael Skakun. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999. 235 pp. ISBN 0-312-20566-X.

A son recounts how his Jewish Polish father disguised himself as a Christian and joined the Nazi SS to Save his own life.

Petite métaphysique du meurtre, by Eliette Abécassis. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1998. …