Holocaust Memorial Day Lecture
A single word - Auschwitz - is often used to encapsulate the totality of persecution and suffering involved in the Holocaust. But this obscures the fuller story, and the multiple legacies of Nazi persecution across generations and continents. In Reckonings, Fulbrook explores the continuing impact of the Holocaust over the decades. She exposes the shocking disjuncture between official myths about ‘dealing with the past’ and the extent to which the vast majority of Nazi perpetrators evaded justice. She situates the experiences of survivors in the changing contexts in which they sought to make sense of unprecedented suffering, and reveals ways in which subsequent generations were affected by growing up in the shadow of this past. The Holocaust is not mere ‘history’ and the contemporary memorial landscape barely hints at the maelstrom of reverberations of the Nazi era at a personal level.
Mary Fulbrook, FBA, is Professor of German History at University College London and author of the Fraenkel Prize-winning A Small Town near Auschwitz: Ordinary Nazis and the Holocaust.
From the reviews:
‘Extraordinarily well-researched, filled with heartbreaking, heroic and harrowing life stories, Reckonings is comprehensive, cogent and compelling. Fulbrook's book is a must-read for anyone interested in the realities - and the legacies - of the Nazi Past.’ - Glenn C. Altschuler, The Jerusalem Post
‘This volume deserves prizes... It is a sense of deep injustice, as well as horror, that will overcome readers of Reckonings: its main theme is how the overwhelming majority of those involved in the murder of an estimated six million men, women and children were either never brought to justice or were dealt with so leniently that it amounted to an insult to the victims.’ - Dominic Lawson, The Daily Mail
‘A work of expert scholarship and profound moral energy’ – Jane Caplan, Professor Emeritus of Modern European History, University of Oxford
‘A powerfully argued critique of current memorial practices… posing challenging questions for the future’ – Professor Elizabeth Harvey, University of Nottingham
‘A magisterial book… essential reading’ - Professor Nicholas Stargardt, Oxford University