The Holocaust In Collective Memory by Mark Mazower - review by Peter Novick

Peter Novick

For Meditating About

The Holocaust In Collective Memory

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Bloomsbury 388pp £18.99 order from our bookshop
 

In the USA, the Holocaust has become an inescapable feature of public life. There is a Holocaust Memorial Museum in downtown Washington, a Holocaust Day, commemorative parks in many cities, and high-school instruction in the subject mandated by numerous state legislatures. University chairs in Holocaust studies cater to a student population whose knowledge of European history and the Second World War is centred increasingly upon this single event.

Latterly the cultural obsession has spread – with perhaps more justification – to Europe itself, where memorials, official anniversaries and museums have proliferated in the last decade. Holocaust denial has been criminalised in several countries and acknowledgement of the Holocaust serves as a litmus test of political acceptability almost everywhere.

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