Building After Auschwitz – Jeiwsh Architecture and the Memory of the Holocaust – Gavriel D. Rosenfeld

pg 3 – This is especially the case given the tendentious ways in which Jewish culture has often been assessed. Among its proponents, Jewish Culture has long been viewed from a self-congratulatory, “contribution” perspective devoted to empathising the important role that Jews have plays in the cultural and intellectual life of the west (Moshe Rosman, How Jewish is Jewish History, 112, 2007). Jewish culture, however, has just as often been condemned , mostly by antisemites who, from the nineteenth century through the first hald of the 20th century, accused it of being degenerate, subversives and pernicious (Bland , artless Jew, 26-27)

pg 43 –  Following the end of the second world war, Jewish architects continued to wrestle with the question of Jewish architecture,but now they did so in a radically transformed world. The wartime murder of some 6 million Jews raised massive questions for western cultural and intellectual life, notably whether any kind of cultural creativity was possible after Auschwitz.

pg 45 – The meaning we find in buildings – even when absent – is determined subjectively by the differing expectations we bring to them. These expectation are largely informed by our social class, education , and aesthetic taste, but they are also shaped by the hisotrical eras in which we live. Since the end of the second world war in 1945, western society has been living in what is commonly called the postwar era. But we have also been living in what some have described as a “post holocaust” era. This concept reflects the belief that the Nazi genocide irrevocably altered the course of western civilisation and cast doubts on its intellectual and cultural tradition.

 

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