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Balkan holocausts?

Serbian and Croatian victim-centred propaganda and the war in Yugoslavia

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David Bruce MacDonald

Comparing and contrasting propaganda in Serbia and Croatia from 1986 to 1999, this book analyses each group's contemporary interpretations of history and current events. It offers a detailed discussion of Holocaust imagery and the history of victim-centred writing in nationalist theory, including the links between the comparative genocide debate, the so-called Holocaust industry, and Serbian and Croatian nationalism. There is a detailed analysis of Serbian and Croatian propaganda over the Internet, detailing how and why the Internet war was as important as the ground wars in Kosovo, Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina, and a theme-by-theme analysis of Serbian and Croatian propaganda, using contemporary media sources, novels, academic works and journals.

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Tom Lawson

This book is about the ways in which the Holocaust has been rendered and represented as History. From court-rooms to history books, efforts to grapple with and award meaning to the genocide of the Jews, in historical terms, have been a consistent feature of post-war intellectual culture and it is these representations that are the subject of the book. The book confronts the first attempts to form historical narratives of the murder of the European Jews per se. It finds a discourse that is as much concerned with the moral politics of judgement in the post-war world as it is with the Shoah. The book also breaks the narrative of the development of the history of the perpetrators. It argues that once it had been created by historians, others began to ask how institutions and individuals external to Nazi-occupied Europe had responded to the Holocaust. Again a divided historiography is uncovered, and again the divisions are as much concerned with what does and does not constitute legitimate historical enquiry as with the issues of responses to the Holocaust themselves. The book further deals with the victims and survivors - who were often excluded from more general Holocaust narratives. An analysis of work on the testimonies of surviving victims finds that debates about how best to use this material are in essence a discourse concerned with the moral possibilities of history-writing.

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‘Holocaust Testimonies’

The ruins of memory and Holocaust historiography

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Tom Lawson

Lawson 08_Lawson 08/09/2010 13:41 Page 270 8 ‘Holocaust Testimonies’: the ruins of memory and Holocaust historiography According to Lawrence Langer’s Holocaust Testimonies, historywriting has failed the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. They were either forgotten in narratives concerned only with the perpetrators; or worse still they were marginalised by a mode of historiography which attempted to make the fundamentally disrupting stories of survivors safe for the post-war world. In such historiography, victims were turned into either martyrs or heroes

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Instrumentalising the Holocaust

From universalisation to relativism

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David Bruce MacDonald

2441Chapter2 16/10/02 8:03 am Page 39 2 Instrumentalising the Holocaust: from universalisation to relativism For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them: e.g. men becoming builders by building and lyre-players by playing the lyre; so too we become just by just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts. (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics)1 Where once it was said that the life of Jews would be ‘a light unto nations’ – the bearer of universal lessons – now it is the ‘darkness unto nations’ of the death of

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Ali Rattansi

The Holocaust’s modernity Hannah Arendt was one of the first intellectuals to confront, in 1945, the enormity of what had happened to six million Jews and millions of Roma, Poles and others in what came to be called the Holocaust. In its immediate aftermath she pronounced, with conviction, that ‘The problem of evil will be the fundamental question of postwar intellectual life’ (quoted in Bernstein 1996: 137). And indeed it did occupy her, in one form or another, for the rest of her life. But as Bernstein also points out, ‘most postwar intellectuals avoided any

Open Access (free)

Comparing genocides

‘Numbers games’ and ‘holocausts’ at Jasenovac and Bleiburg

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David Bruce MacDonald

2441Chapter6 16/10/02 8:05 am Page 160 6 Comparing genocides: ‘numbers games’ and ‘holocausts’ at Jasenovac and Bleiburg What will our children say about us when they read about the Balkan Holocaust in their history books? (Stjepan Meštrović et al., The Road from Paradise) Chapter 5 outlined some of the principal myths of victimisation and persecution stemming from the wartime activities of the Serbs and Croats. By invoking images of historic genocide and persecution, both sides portrayed their actions in the 1990s as defensive only – a reaction to

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Tom Lawson

Lawson 09_Lawson 08/09/2010 14:01 Page 305 C ONC LUSIO N Although attempts to incorporate the voices and memories of the victims and survivors offer profound and unresolved challenges to historians, it would be wrong to end on a note of despair. The contested role of memories demonstrates Holocaust History is an ongoing discourse, with a future as well as a past. Even if the only way to incorporate memories is with new methodologies, this still points to further discussions rather than to closing them down. As such, it would seem fitting to conclude with some

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Tom Lawson

historian imprisoned in the Warsaw ghetto, had presciently anticipated this desire to erase him, his people and their destruction from the historical record. He had established Oneg Shabbat, a clandestine archive dedicated to documenting all that Himmler and the Nazis sought to destroy, and to establishing a narrative of the destruction itself. Ringelblum accepted that the Jews might die, but hoped their memory and history would live on. Ultimately, despite Himmler’s hopes, the history of the Holocaust has been written and rewritten. Ringelblum’s archive was discovered in

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Bryan Fanning

4 Ireland and the Holocaust Introduction This chapter considers anti-Semitism in Irish society from independence in 1922 until the 1950s with a specific focus upon Ireland’s response to Jewish refugees before, during and after the Holocaust. A number of historians have taken the view that while there was undoubtedly anti-Semitism in Irish society in the era after independence, it was of little consequence. Three arguments from this perspective will be examined. The first of these is that Irish antiSemitism was inconsequential because it was latent and did not

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‘Eichmann in Jerusalem’

War crimes prosecutions and the emergence of Holocaust metanarratives

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Tom Lawson

Lawson 02_Lawson 08/09/2010 13:36 Page 52 2 ‘Eichmann in Jerusalem’: war crimes prosecutions and the emergence of Holocaust metanarratives On April 11 1961 Adolf Eichmann stood for the first time before a court in Jerusalem charged with being the Third Reich’s ‘executive arm for the extermination of the Jewish people’.1 The case against him was outlined over the next four months, and constituted, in effect, a history of the Holocaust performed in front of the world’s media, indeed it was televised live in several different countries.2 Over 700 journalists