Rethink­ing the Holocaust

Yehu­da Bauer
  • From the Publisher
January 19, 2017

Yehu­da Bauer, one of the world’s pre­mier his­to­ri­ans of the Holo­caust, here presents an insight­ful overview and recon­sid­er­a­tion of its his­to­ry and mean­ing. Draw­ing on research he and oth­er his­to­ri­ans have done in recent years, he offers fresh opin­ions on such basic issues as how to define and explain the Holo­caust; whether it can be com­pared with oth­er geno­cides; how Jews react­ed to the mur­der cam­paign against them; and what the rela­tion­ship is between the Holo­caust and the estab­lish­ment of Israel.

The Holo­caust says some­thing ter­ri­bly impor­tant about human­i­ty, says Bauer. He ana­lyzes expla­na­tions of the Holo­caust by Zyg­munt Bau­man, Jef­frey Herf, Goetz Aly, Daniel Gold­ha­gen, John Weiss, and Saul Friedlän­der and then offers his own inter­pre­ta­tion of how the Holo­caust could occur. Pro­vid­ing fas­ci­nat­ing nar­ra­tives as exam­ples, he deals with reac­tions of Jew­ish men and women dur­ing the Holo­caust and tells of sev­er­al attempts at res­cue oper­a­tions. He also explores Jew­ish the­ol­o­gy of the Holo­caust, argu­ing that our view of the Holo­caust should not be cloud­ed by mys­ti­cism: it was an action by humans against oth­er humans and is there­fore an explic­a­ble event that we can pre­vent from recurring.

Discussion Questions