Academic journal article Journal of Ecumenical Studies

Preface

Academic journal article Journal of Ecumenical Studies

Preface

Article excerpt

It is doubtful that Franklin Littell--visionary though he was--anticipated that the meeting of several dozen university faculty and clergy over which he presided at Wayne State University in the Spring of 1970 would become an annual gathering of hundreds of scholars from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, as well as North and South America, and that, four decades later, it would remain a singular expression of his conviction that the proper study of the Shoah must be an international, interdisciplinary, and interfaith endeavor.

Insisting on these three modes or frameworks of analysis may seem commonplace today, although they are still, in some quarters, honored more in the breach than the observance. Forty years ago, it was an even more difficult undertaking. Then, it was not unusual to find those who claimed that the study of the Holocaust was the primary province of those who were its intended victims or that interreligious interests--beyond that of expressing guilt for its occurrence--were misplaced or that this or that discipline was uniquely equipped to undertake its exploration.

We can be grateful that the scholarly effort, in the main, has matured beyond this early parochialism and that Franklin lived to see Holocaust studies itself become a field that has come of age. It is especially gratifying to note the extent to which attention has turned to the various professional fields whose practitioners, during the German Third Reich, performed grimly significant roles in the implementation of the Final Solution. …

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