History | After the Holocaust: The History, Memory & Meaning of Auschwitz in our World
B300 | 7953 | Clasby
Most of us are familiar with the terrifying images of the Nazi
Holocaust. We have seen the actual horror of the death camps and
mass extermination through newsreels and documentary footage.
Popular culture has provided us with images of the Holocaust in many
forms, from memoirs and television shows to museum exhibits and
comic books. In short, the Holocaust is very much on our collective
minds and it seems to mean more and more to our world as we move
farther away from it in time.
This class will look at the history of the Holocaust as it was
discussed and remembered by a host of people who have used a variety
of ways to articulate their thoughts and views about what happened.
We will look at how people in the immediate aftermath of the Second
World War ignored the significance of the Holocaust and then trace
the ways in which the Holocaust was brought to the public forefront
in the 1960s, through events like the famous Israeli trial of Adolf
Eichmann and the popularity of the Anne Frank diaries. Most
importantly, we will discuss what the Holocaust means to our
contemporary world. We want to examine social and cultural trends
by exploring the perspectives of victims, survivors, and even
perpetrators vis-à-vis media, from literature and film to the
building of monuments and museums, all in an effort to understand
why the Holocaust remains a point of reference for western society
in popular culture as much as it does in current politics.