toldot, Volume 7 (2007)
Über Geltung und Wirkung des Holocaust
128 pp., paperback
Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2007
Price: 17,00 € (D)
The memory of the mass crimes constitutes the parameters of a universal ethics. The memory of the Holocaust was fundamental for this. The annihilation of the European Jews took on a paradigmatic significance in this connection. In the meanwhile, other memories of mass crimes are also demanding public remembrance and thus formal recognition. Such a pluralism of memories contains a substantial potential for conflict, especially when the differing experiences of suffering refer back to one and the same historical event – the Second World War. Then contrary constellations of memory and competing memories arise – not only between the political cultures of Western and Eastern Europe, but also and very specifically between European and colonial memories.
Dan Diner’s essay explores the problematics of contrary memories of the Second World War and Holocaust in conceptual terms and in the frame of the history of memory. Looking again at »Auschwitz« as a rupture in civilization, he reflects precisely against this backdrop of Zivilisationsbruch on the prerequisites of historical judgment and recognition in memory. Differences and indeed antagonisms arise here in dramatic form, between Western and non-European cultures, especially Islam.