Saturday, August 14, 2004


The Psychology of Holocaust Remembrance - a Faulksian Slip?

So much sun and sports, so many books and blogs.

But so few posts here at DC. So much easier squatting in comments boxes. And as for those without comments boxes, there's email. Of course there's also blogging, but I was temporarily unable to get in here. So I sent the following email in response to this post of Norm's, then deciding to post it here since I had access again, as well as an obligation to my ravenous readers. Here it is:

Foul Indeed

Besides Faulks' appearing resentful at the "insistence" of the victims that their suffering be remembered, there is also the ridiculousness of the notion that any such victims could be in any position to "insist" on any such thing.

I'm reminded of the concept I recently came across (in John Gray's Straw Dogs, since you ask) that there is only guilt (emotionally speaking, that is) in relation to the Holocaust because the Jews survived - that is, that nobody feels guilty about fully successful genocides, such as those of the indiginous Tazmanians etc., precisely because there are no surviviors. Thus the Jews arouse guilt, but, or therefore, they also arouse resentment. (Related, though I'm not sure how, is a fact I also discovered from Gray's book - that Hitler planned, post-extermination, to open a Museum of Jewish Culture. I have only average knowledge of the whole topic, yet was stunned at never having come across this fact, as well as stunned by the fact itself, which I have not yet been able to compute).

Anyway, here's me ruminating at random to an actual scholar of the Holocaust (among other things of course), not having so much as read a single aspect of the substantial relevant literature...

Cheeky, me.

UPDATE: I had meant to link to this rather unLeninist review of Gray's latest book, which offers an intelligent discussion of the concept of liberty. Turns out that "Lenin", like me but unlike Lenin, believes that socialism entails (what is worth entailing in) liberalism, even though those who designate themselves toute court as liberals neglect to apply their principles to the institutions (broadly defined) of the present (i.e. capitalist) mode of production.

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