Lessons and Legacies v. 4; Holocaust and Justice
By: Ronald Smelser (editor)Hardback
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Distinguished scholars explore historical context, perpetrators, the courts, and historical perspective as these relate to the complex topic of the Holocaust and justice. The Holocaust and justice: How can one link these terms, given the enormity of Nazi mass murder? Is justice possible for crimes of such magnitude? If so, what kind of justice? In the courts? Before the bar of history? Retrospective as well as contemporary? Divine? Weighing these questions and their considerable implications, a group of distinguished scholars attempt to untangle the complex and often contradictory relationship between the Holocaust and justice. What were the political, social, psychological, and ideological prerequisites for this tragedy? the contributors ask, seeking an historical context. What animated the murderers, and what agencies did they work through? Examining the courts and trials, from those during and immediately after the war to recent cases against aging perpetrators, the authors examine the legal mechanisms for trying to achieve justice, as well as the issues that complicate litigation, including the dimming effects of the passage of time. Their inquiry extends to questions about memory - how it is shaped and reshaped and whether it can be reliable - and about the recreation of the events of the Holocaust for a second generation: Does reassembling the evidence of the Holocaust through the lens of a later generation provide a deeper understanding, and does this understanding include a sense of justice accomplished? In raising and responding to these questions in a balanced, multifaceted, and informative way, this volume sharpens and deepens our understanding of a topic that has only become more perplexing and pressing with time.
Ronald Smelser is professor of history at the University of Utah.
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- ID: 9780810119154
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