Marxists before the Holocaust
in The Norman Geras Reader
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In this article, which was first published in 'New Left Review', Geras begins from an astonishing fact: Leon Trotsky's prediction of the impending Jewish catastrophe, which is a common and well-grounded theme in the literature of the Holocaust that the disaster was not really predictable. He offers some general reflections on Marxism as a body of theory in relation to the Nazi genocide against Jews, presenting a couple of brief phrases on the singularity of the Holocaust and a critical review of Ernest Mandel's thinking on the subject. Mandel connects to a wider historiographical, socio-psychological and other literature on the Holocaust, adding to it, to be sure, what Marxism is best-placed to add. He asserts that the Holocaust was an extreme product of tendencies which are historically more general. But he perceives a need to balance the assertion with an emphasis on the singularity of the fate of the Jews.

The Norman Geras Reader

‘What’s there is there’

Editors: Ben Cohen and Eve Garrard

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