Stated Memory – East Germany and The Holocaust – Epilogue

pg 146 – The Holocaust could not be airbrushed from history, but it could be interpreted according to state interest. By explaining the Holocaust as the work of certain historically declining classes , by  perceiving the second world war as the triumph of the historically more advanced soviet union over fascist Germany, the East Germans could contain and “state” the Jewish catastrophe within a comfortingly progress-oriented teleology.

pg 148 – Jeffret Herf points out that East Germany was not an anti semitic state in the sense that Nazi Germany had beenl hatred of Jews was not a guiding principle. But it was willing to adopt the language of traditional European anti-semitism (Divded 384). And its refusal to acknowledge the magnitude of the Jewish catastrophe, its failure to pay restitution, its persecution of citizens of Jewish descent in 1950s, its pressure on remaining east german Jewish leaders, its support of Israel’s enemies or its instrumentalization of Holocaust memory were not actions friendly to jews.

 

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