What Is the Use of Jewish Hist

Lucy S. Dawidowicz, Author Schocken Books Inc $27.5 (278p) ISBN 978-0-8052-4116-7
The eminent historian and Holocaust scholar (The War Against the Jews), who died in 1990, was the historical conscience of her people. These lively, forceful, absorbing essays and lectures from the last decade of her life, many previously published in Commentary, Shoah and elsewhere, are among her best writings. In the title essay Davidowiez argues that collective Jewish consciousness is a myth and scans history for keys to the Jews' potential for survival. In Berlin Again chronicles her return visit to the former Nazi capital and calls for Jewish reconciliation with Germans. Elsewhere, Davidowicz repudiates charges of American Jews' passivity in the face of the Holocaust, attacks the anti-Semitism of the political left and lacerates functionalist historians who blame the murder of Europe's Jews on the near-autonomous workings of an impersonal bureaucracy rather than on the will and intentions of Nazi leaders. Other pieces deal with the way public schools teach students about the Holocaust, Jewish identity in America and Soviet denial of the Nazis' massacre of Jews at Babi Yar. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
Paperback - 978-0-8052-1010-1
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