Murder in our Midst: The Holocaust, Industrial Killing, and Representation

TitleMurder in our Midst: The Holocaust, Industrial Killing, and Representation
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsBartov, Omer
PublisherOxford University Press
CityNew York
Abstract

War endlessly tries to mask itself. The myth of the heroic soldier testing his individual courage stands in stark contrast to the reality of mass, anonymous death and the suppression of individual actions. This volume shows that this fundamental tension reached its natural conclusion in the Holocaust, and that disguising it has required an ongoing effort to misrepresent war and the Holocaust as something other than industrial killing. Examining a broad range of the representations of war's horrors, from scholarly depictions to those in popular literature, poetry, art, and the movies, the author finds they have some things in common. Societies and cultures have attempted to form coherent images of horrific events, to draw didactic lessons from them, and to exploit them to legitimate ideological or political positions. Made up of interconnected essays, this book is both a scholarly and an often personal and passionate examination of the emergence, implementation, and representation of industrial killing. The author draws out the links between recent revisionist attempts to minimize and deny the Holocaust, and Hollywood's ongoing fascination with National Socialism and Hitler's "Final Solution." Arguing that the modern predicament reflects the effects of the Nazi genocide on current perceptions of war, history, and memory, this book is a plea for compassion and commitment in an increasingly violent and indifferent world. [from author]

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