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Gray Zones: Ambiguity and Compromise in the Holocaust and its Aftermath

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Volume 8

War and Genocide

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Gray Zones

Ambiguity and Compromise in the Holocaust and its Aftermath

Edited by Jonathan Petropoulos and John Roth

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440 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-071-7 25% OFF! $120.00/£85.00 $90.00/£63.75 Hb Published (July 2005)

ISBN  978-1-84545-302-2 25% OFF! $34.95/£24.00 $26.21/£18.00 Pb Published (October 2006)

eISBN 978-1-78238-201-0 eBook

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"...a useful addition to Holocaust historiography and literature. It is accessible for students and teachers as well as the general reader. It provides a taste of what the world of Holocaust scholarship is actively engaged in--the constant exploration and understanding of the history of the murder of the Jews of Europe and the ongoing effect of these events on the world today. Hopefully, this book will stimulate others to read further and deeper."   · H-German


Few essays about the Holocaust are better known or more important than Primo Levi’s reflections on what he called “the gray zone,” a reality in which moral ambiguity and compromise were pronounced. In this volume accomplished Holocaust scholars, among them Raul Hilberg, Gerhard L. Weinberg, Christopher Browning, Peter Hayes, and Lynn Rapaport, explore the terrain that Levi identified. Together they bring a necessary interdisciplinary focus to bear on timely and often controversial topics in cutting-edge Holocaust studies that range from historical analysis to popular culture. While each essay utilizes a particular methodology and argues for its own thesis, the volume as a whole advances the claim that the more we learn about the Holocaust, the more complex that event turns out to be. Only if ambiguities and compromises in the Holocaust and its aftermath are identified, explored, and at times allowed to remain--lest resolution deceive us--will our awareness of the Holocaust and its implications be as full as possible.

Jonathan Petropoulos is the John V. Croul Professor of European History and Director of the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies, at Claremont McKenna College.

John Roth is that Edward J. Sexton Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights, at Claremont McKenna College.

Subject: Genocide Studies Jewish Studies WWII History
Area: Europe Germany


List of Figures
List of Abbreviations

Prologue: The Gray Zones of the Holocaust
Jonathan Petropoulos and John K. Roth

Part I: Ambiguity and Compromise in Writing and Depicting Holocaust History


Chapter 1. The Ambiguities of Evil and Justice: Degussa, Robert Pross, and the Jewish Slave Laborers at Gleiwitz
Peter Hayes

Chapter 2. “Alleviation” and “Compliance”: The Survival Strategies of the Jewish Leadership in the Wierzbnik Ghetto and the Starachowice Factory Slave Labor Camps
Christopher R. Browning

Chapter 3. Between Sanity and Insanity: Spheres of Everyday Life in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Sonderkommando
Gideon Greif

Chapter 4. Sonderkommando: Testimony from Evidence
Michael Berenbaum

Chapter 5. A Commentary on “Gray Zones” in Raul Hilberg’s Work
Gerhard L. Weinberg

Chapter 6. Incompleteness in Holocaust Historiography
Raul Hilberg

Part II: Identity, Gender, and Sexuality During and After the Third Reich


Chapter 7. Choiceless Choices: Surviving on False Papers on the “Aryan” Side
Robert Melson

Chapter 8. “Who Am I?” The Struggle for Religious Identity of Jewish Children Hidden by Christians During the Shoah
Eva Fleischner

Chapter 9. Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers
Bryan Mark Rigg

Chapter 10. A Gray Zone Among the Field Gray Men: Confusion in the Discrimination Against Homosexuals in the Wehrmacht
Geoffrey J. Giles

Chapter 11. Pleasure and Evil: Christianity and the Sexualization of Holocaust Memory
Dagmar Herzog

Chapter 12. The Gender of Good and Evil: Women and Holocaust Memory
Sara R. Horowitz

Part III: Gray Spaces: Geographical and Imaginative Landscapes


Chapter 13. Hitler’s “Garden of Eden” in Ukraine: Nazi Colonialism, Volksdeutsche, and the Holocaust, 1941–1944
Wendy Lower

Chapter 14. Life and Death in the “Gray Zone” of Jewish Ghettos in Nazi-Occupied Europe: The Unknown, the Ambiguous, and the Disappeared
Martin Dean

Chapter 15. “Almost-Camps” in Paris: The Difficult Description of Three Annexes of Drancy—Austerlitz, Lévitan, and Bassano, July 1943 to August 1944
Jean-Marc Dreyfus

Chapter 16. Alternate Holocausts and the Mistrust of Memory
Gavriel D. Rosenfeld

Chapter 17. Laughter and Heartache: The Functions of Humor in Holocaust Tragedy
Lynn Rapaport

Chapter 18. The Holocaust in Popular Culture: Master-Narrative and Counter-Narratives in the Gray Zone
Ronald Smelser

Chapter 19. The Grey Zone: The Cinema of Choiceless Choices
Lawrence Baron

Part IV: Justice, Religion, and Ethics During and After the Holocaust


Chapter 20. Gray into Black: The Case of Mordecai Chaim Rumkowski
Richard L. Rubenstein

Chapter 21. Catalyzing Fascism: Academic Science in National Socialist Germany and Afterward
Jeffrey Lewis

Chapter 22. Postwar Justice and the Treatment of Nazi Assets
Jonathan Petropoulos

Chapter 23. The Gray Zones of Holocaust Restitution: American Justice and Holocaust Morality
Michael J. Bazyler

Chapter 24. The Creation of Ethical “Gray Zones” in the German Protestant Church: Reflections on the Historical Quest for Ethical Clarity
Victoria J. Barnett

Chapter 25. Gray-Zoned Ethics: Morality’s Double Binds During and After the Holocaust
John K. Roth

Epilogue: An Intense Wish to Understand
Jonathan Petropoulos and John K. Roth

Select Bibliography
About the Editors and Contributors

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