happened in Germany could not happen here. But the insensitivity to American Jewish citizens is cause for reappraisal." Surely what happened in Germany was far more than insensitivity, far more than singling out a segment of the population and abandoning them. Definition was the first stage of the destructive process, according to Raoul Hilberg. It was followed by expropriation and concentration-apartheid and segregation to use American terms-circumstances designed to demonstrate that the Jews had no future in Germany or in Germanoccupied lands. But the Holocaust was about state-sponsored systematic murder and the apparatus of death-mobile killing units, concentration camps, and death camps. The Holocaust was about systematic slaughter, about ideological antisemitism that took a lethal course and victimized European Jewry while giving ultimate meaning to German society. What is the evidence for reappraisal? Antisemitism does not play a major role in American national myth. In fact, while Jews may be 2.7 percent of the population, they are 33% percent of American religious tradition, and racism rather than antisemitism is central to American national consciousness. Still, The Forgotten Victims is a serious effort to recover a story that must be told. It is an act of historic justice to
Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies – Purdue University Press
Published: Oct 3, 1996
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