Preserving Memory: 2the Struggle to Create America's Holocaust Museum

Edward Tabor Linenthal, Author
Edward Tabor Linenthal, Author Viking Books $27.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-670-86067-8
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Passages in this discussion of the selection of artifacts--children's shoes, leg braces, bundles of women's hair--to be exhibited in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington are harrowing to read. At the same time, the bureaucratic infighting and political tugging on the President's Commission on the Holocaust and its successor, the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, tend to trivialize the raison d'etre of the museum: about what sort of building to erect that would be a ``good neighbor'' to others on the Mall, about whether to include articles that once belonged to Gypsies and homosexuals who were also victims, about commemorating other genocides like the slaughter of the Armenians in 1915. Ultimately, Linenthal's (Sacred Ground: Americans and Their Battlefields) carefully researched account seeks to answer the vexing question of the ``place'' of Holocaust memory in American culture. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Apr.)
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