Holocaust Essay

4817 WordsAug 3, 201220 Pages
HISTORY AND REPRESENTATION: THE HOLOCAUST AS A CASE STUDY ‘Six million deaths can become a statistic, but one person’s death is a personal tragedy, a keenly felt tragedy’ (Martin Smith). To what extent do you agree with the view that to provide a full understanding of the Holocaust, representations in art or other discursive forms must approach it primarily in individual terms? Ich will auch ein ganz schweres Kapitel, will ich hier vor Ihnen in aller Offenheit nennen. Es soll zwischen uns ausgesprochen sein, und trotzdem werden wir nicht in der Öffentlichkeit nie darüber reden … Ich meine jetzt die Judenevakuierung, die Ausrottung des jüdischen Volkes Heinrich Himmler, Poznan 1943[1] “Das habe ich gethan, sagt mein Gedächtnis. Das kann ich nicht gethan haben – sagt mein Stolz und bleibt unbitterlich. Endlich giebt das Gedächtnis nach.” - Friedrich Nietzsche, Jenseits von Gut und Böse[2] The Holocaust weighs on history and civilisation’s conscious life like no other recent event. It is hard to clearly outline its intellectual borders as its geography covered vast areas – both cultural as well as physical ones. And despite all of this, there are some, who wish to diminish its significance, deny it altogether or just unwittingly ignore it. How do you respond to this? How does the discursive artist respond to the Holocaust itself? How can civilisation use the memories of and historical facts and statistics regarding these crimes in order to eradicate those social and civil weaknesses that allowed the Holocaust to happen? This essay argues that it is with the individual memories that one must begin the task of remembering the Holocaust and using that understanding as a means to progress and ensure a civil existence. In the aftermath of the Second World War, Winston Churchill stated that the Holocaust was the “biggest and greatest crime ever committed

More about Holocaust Essay

Open Document