that ties the German population to Nazi violence, makes them accomplices in the material rape of Europe. It is the twists and turns of German military adventure, Bergen argues, that determine the fate of Jewish populations around Europe--a case most forcibly proposed with regard to the Jews of Italy. Bergen's insistence on context is important, because it is so often lost within attempts to wrestle with the Holocaust on either a general or holistic level, in which the murder of Europe's Jews can appear out of place, space, and time. And war is just one of the contexts that is insisted upon here. Such an emphasis on context is then also an unwritten insistence on complexity--a welcome lesson for any student, especially in a world where the Holocaust is increasingly popularly presented as moral certainty. Bergen's insistence on a lack of certainty continues to the very end of the book. Throughout the author has introduced individual victims' stories to act as illustrative vignettes that emphasize the personal tragedies that Nazi violence represented. This is a practice that continues in the final chapter on "the legacies of atrocity." Here you can almost feel the author's struggle to place stories
Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies – Purdue University Press
Published: Jun 1, 2011
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