A Holocaust controversy: the Treblinka affair in postwar France
Brandeis University Press, 2005 - 220 halaman
How has the world come to focus on the Holocaust and why has it invariably done so in the heat of controversy, scandal, and polemics about the past? These questions are at the heart of this unique investigation of the Treblinka affair that occurred in France in 1966 when Jean-Francois Steiner, a young Jewish journalist, published Treblinka: The Revolt of an Extermination Camp. A cross between a history and a novel, Steiner's book narrated the 1943 revolt at one of the major Nazi death camps. Abetted by a scandalous interview he gave, as well as Simone de Beauvoir's glowing preface, the book shot to the top of the Parisian bestseller list and prompted a wide-ranging controversy in which both the well-known and the obscure were embroiled.
Few had heard of Treblinka, or other death camps, before the affair. The validity of the difference between those killing centers and the larger network of concentration camps making up the universe of Nazi crime had to be fought out in public. The affair also bore on the frequently raised question of the Jews' response to their dire straits.
Moyn delves into events surrounding the publication of Steiner's book and the subsequent furor. In the process, he sheds light on a few forgotten but thought-provoking months in French cultural history. Reconstructing the affair in detail, Moyn studies it as a paradigm-shifting controversy that helped change perceptions of the Holocaust in the French public and among French Jews in particular. Then Moyn follows the controversy beyond French borders to the other countries--especially Israel and the United States--where it resonated powerfully.
Based on a complete reconstruction of the debate in the press (including Yiddish dailies) and on archives on three continents, Moyn's study concludes with the response of the survivors of Treblinka to the controversy and reflects on its place in the longer history of Holocaust memory. Finally, Moyn revisits, in the context of a detailed case study, some of the theoretical controversies the genocide has provoked, including whether it is appropriate to draw universalistic lessons from the victimhood of particular groups.
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An Introduction to the Affair
Author and Text
Nazi Criminality between Concentration
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Agamben antifascist antisemitism April Auerbach materials Auschwitz blinka Borwicz Cohen collaboration concentration and extermination concentration camps contemporary course culture David Rousset debate deportation Dvorjetski edition Eichmann Eichmann in Jerusalem English essay fact Fayard France French French-Jewish Frenkel genocide German ghetto Glazar Hannah Arendt historian Holocaust controversies Ibid ideological intellectual interpretation interview Israel Jean-Francois Steiner Jehuda Reinharz Jewish identity Jewish particularity Jews Juifs juive Korda Kovner L'Arche LaCapra later leftist Leon Poliakov letter Levinas live memoire memory Michelet Monde moral Muselmann Nazi Nazi criminality Nora Nouveau Candide Nouvel Observateur Paris passivity past Pierre Nora Pierre Vidal-Naquet Poliakov political postwar Presse Nouvelle problem published Rassinier recent resistance response revolt Simone de Beauvoir simply sources Steiner files Steiner's book survivors Szulsztein testimony tion Todorov Treblinka affair univers concentrationnaire University Press Vichy victimhood victims Vilna Warsaw Wieviorka witnesses writing wrote Yad Vashem Yiddish York Zionist