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The Shoah: Deficit, Plethora And Loss Of Meaning

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Chapter Summary

Until the end of the 1950s Shoah did not loom large in public debate and was not even a major concern in the public discourse of American Jews. Two facts of prime importance in Israel were to have an impact throughout the world in conferring meaning on what the Nazi enterprise of the destruction of the European Jews actually involved. In France, the general development was very comparable. From being marginal in the collective French consciousness, the Holocaust was to become the most efficient defence possible against anti-Semitism. The fact remains that the holocaust can no longer be so central to Jewish identity; nor can it be the main defence against the threat of a reappearance or renewal of anti-Semitism. Its message is no longer what it was in the 1980s and 1990s, when it was very much with us and its extent unchallenged.

Keywords: anti-Semitism; European Jews; Holocaust; Shoah



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