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Remembering the HolocaustA Debate$
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Jeffrey C. Alexander

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195326222

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326222.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 November 2021

From Denial to Confessions of Guilt: The German Case

From Denial to Confessions of Guilt: The German Case

Chapter:
(p.114) From Denial to Confessions of Guilt: The German Case
Source:
Remembering the Holocaust
Author(s):

Bernhard Giesen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326222.003.0003

Before turning to the general intellectual roots of the negative theology related to the concept of original sin, this chapter outlines the German history of coping with the Holocaust. The case of Germany differs strongly from that of the United States. Germany was unquestionably the prime nation of perpetrators and, at first glance at least, people should expect a strong reluctance to accept the tragic narrative of the Holocaust as a core element of German national identity. Rarely do nations agree on a negative representation of their collective identity. Should the German postwar history, however, fit into Jeffrey Alexander's conception of a tragic narrative, this would provide strong evidence for his assumption that the Holocaust takes the position of a transnational narrative of collective identity.

Keywords:   Holocaust, Jeffrey Alexander, Germany, United States, tragic narrative, German national identity, collective identity

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