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German Holocaust Literature

Second, Revised Edition


Susan E. Cernyak-Spatz

This study attempts to analyse the development of Holocaust literature by German and German-Jewish authors up to 1970. The study traces the development of the character of the «Nazi», specifically the SS-man, from a one-dimensional visual representation of evil to an individual personage, whose acts are prompted by various psychological motivations.
A parallel development is traced in the treatment of the «Jewish victim» who progresses from being merely noble, pure and defenseless to a human being with equally strong individualistic traits. The main progression lies in the gradual assumption of responsibility for the events of the Holocaust by the whole nation, as perceived by the authors of the late 60s and 70s, instead of the dissociative attitudes of the immediate post-war writers.
Contents: Literature of the political concentration camp - Literature of the extermination camp - Holocaust Drama - Literature of the pre- and post Holocaust period examining German-Jewish relations.