R.I.P. raul hilberg

raul hilberg, who pioneered the academic study of the nazi holocaust, has died of lung cancer at 81.

hilberg, whose family fled vienna in advance of the nazis, was studying the holocaust before it became cool in the late '60's - before Holocaust studies became an ideology and an industry. hilberg always supported norman finkelstein, the best-known and hardest-hitting critic of the holocaust industry, against his extraordinarily nasty opposition.

hilberg was legit.


Rowan Berkeley said...

legit, if you like, but none of these people is psychologically able to address even the most concrete and commonsensical question from the gas chamber skeptics.

Rowan Berkeley said...

here is a useful maxim, seldom now recalled :

"Most of the memoirs and reports [of the concentration camp survivors] are full of preposterous verbosity, graphomanic exaggeration, dramatic effects, overestimated self-inflation, dilettante philosophizing, would-be lyricism, unchecked rumors, bias, partisan attacks and apologies."

Samuel Gringauz, in Jewish Social Studies (New York), January 1950, Vol. 12, p. 65.

Disgruntled Goat said...

could be true of most survivors who spoke out before 1950, when the words you quote were written. i don't think they're true of primo levi. it's also not my experience with my grandparents, all of whom are survivors. they've been pretty subdued and matter-of-fact when talking about their experience. of course, they're not self-important enough to write memoirs.