1st Edition

After the Holocaust Challenging the Myth of Silence

Edited By David Cesarani, Eric J. Sundquist Copyright 2012
    240 Pages
    by Routledge

    240 Pages
    by Routledge

    For the last decade scholars have been questioning the idea that the Holocaust was not talked about in any way until well into the 1970s. After the Holocaust: Challenging the Myth of Silence is the first collection of authoritative, original scholarship to expose a serious misreading of the past on which, controversially, the claims for a ‘Holocaust industry’ rest. Taking an international approach this bold new book exposes the myth and opens the way for a sweeping reassessment of Jewish life in the postwar era, a life lived in the pervasive, shared awareness that Jews had narrowly survived a catastrophe that had engulfed humanity as a whole but claimed two-thirds of their number.

    The chapters include:

      • an overview of the efforts by survivor historians and memoir writers to inform the world of the catastrophe that had befallen the Jews of Europe
      • an evaluation of the work of survivor-historians and memoir writers
      • new light on the Jewish historical commissions and the Jewish documentation centres
      • studies of David Boder, a Russian born psychologist who recorded searing interviews with survivors, and the work of philosophers, social thinkers and theologians
      • theatrical productions by survivors and the first films on the theme made in Hollywood
      • how the Holocaust had an impact on the everyday life of Jews in the USA
      • and a discussion of the different types, and meanings, of ‘silence’.


    A breakthrough volume in the debate about the ‘Myth of Silence’, this is a must for all students of Holocaust and genocide.

    Introduction David Cesarani  1. There was no silence: an overview of post-war responses to the destruction of European Jewry David Cesarani  2. Acting the Part: Theatrical Interpretations of the Holocaust in the Displaced Persons Camps of Germany Margarete Feinstein  3. No Silence in Yiddish: Popular and scholarly writing about the Holocaust in the early postwar years Mark Smith  4. The Centre Documentation Juive Comptemporaine, Paris, 1945-1955 Laura Jockusch  5. The drowned and the saved: communal memory 1945-1960 David Roskies  6. "We know very little in America": David Boder and Un-Belated Testimony Alan Rosen  7. David P. Boder: Indexing a Holocaust Testimony Collection Rachel Deblinger  8. Shame and the ‘musselmanner’ in early literature of the camps Timothy Pytell  9. Authoritarianism and the Making of Post-Holocaust Personality Studies Michael Staub  10. If God Was Silent, Absent, Dead, or Nonexistent, What about Philosophy and theology? Some Aftereffects and Aftershocks of the Holocaust John Roth  11. Trial by Audience: Bringing Nazi War Criminals to Justice in Hollywood Films, 1944-1959 Lawrence Baron  12. "This too is partly Hitler’s doing": American Jewish debates over name-changing in the wake of the Holocaust Kirsten Fermaglich  13. The Myth of Silence: Survivors Tell a Different Story Beth Cohen  14. The Myth of Silence: Post-war American Jews and the Holocaust Hasia Diner  15. ‘A "high class lynching party"? The debate over the Nuremberg tribunal in the late 1940s and 1950s’ Michael Bazyler and Paul Hoffman Silence Reconsidered: An Afterword Eric J. Sundquist


    David Cesarani is Research Professor in History at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has written and edited over a dozen books, including Justice Delayed: How Britain Became a Refuge for Nazi War Criminals (1992; 2d edition 2001), Arthur Koestler: The Homeless Mind (1998), Eichmann: His life and crimes (2004), and Major Farran's Hat: Murder, Scandal, and Britain’s war against Jewish Terrorism, 1945-1948 (2009). For his work in establishing a Holocaust Memorial Day in Great Britain he was awarded an OBE in 2005

    Eric J. Sundquist is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Humanities at John Hopkins University, USA. His publications include Kings Dream (2009), Strangers in the Land: Blacks, Jews, Post-Holocaust America (2005) and To Wake the Nations: Race in the Making of American Literature (1993).