More than 50 years after World War II, Germany and France still struggle to understand the Holocaust and confront their roles in it. Through an interpretation of memorials and their sites, museum exhibits, books and films, the author traces the evolution of the post-war politics of memory in the two nations. Her analyses of sites of memory and of policies and national debates reveal the two countries' deep-seated ambivalence in the face of a desire to forget the horrors of the Holocaust and the need to remember them. Among the issues Wiedmer examines are France's emerging sense of accountability and the fierce conflicts generated by the "Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe" to be built in Berlin. In her account of how the Nazis took over a ready-made system of internment camps built by the French before World War II, and in her discussion of the uses to which the Sachsenhausen concentration camp was put by both the Soviet and the East German governments after the war, Wiedmer uncovers disturbing patterns of recurrence that complicate France's and Germany's relationships to the Holocaust itself and to the act of commemoration.
The author also examines Art Spiegelman's "Maus" and Michael Verhoeven's film "The Nasty Girl".
Buy Claims of Memory book by Caroline Wiedmer from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(235mm x 155mm x 22mm)
Cornell University Press
Publisher: Cornell University Press
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