Page 56 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 37

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
quota systems and gas chambers. I t is a disguise fo r survival,
protective coloration” (p. 208). This child o f the new Faith con­
ceived in Munich will no t be to rm en ted by the Jewish past. Exor­
cised o f memories and guilt over the Holocaust, she will not have
to struggle as Marjorie did to reject Jewish boys who are “rem ind ­
ers o f sad histories and terrib le destinies” (p. 32). She, the new
Jew, will be able to march, brave and whole, into tomorrow.
Do works o f this kind rep resen t a normal development, pa in ­
ful, o f course, bu t inevitable: a development which has similarly
dem eaned and violated o the r events in history because man, af te r
all, remains man — an imperfect creatu re — o r do they po r tend
something more serious and frightening? Those p reda to rs who
rega rd any hum an event as an opportun ity fo r exploitation with­
out reg a rd fo r sensibility or morality are to be excoriated in
accord with the repugnance o f the ir actions. Yet the success o f
such shoddy panderers in capitalizing on the ir insensitivity may
be made possible by the attitudes, actions, and teachings o f others,
more sincere, more though tfu l, more p ro found , and therefo re ,
ultimately more dangerous.
Many have tried to deny the Holocaust by re-writing history:
this has happened in Germany, it has happened in London, even
in Illinois. But it is no t easy to re-write history. By vulgarizing it,
however, by cheapening it, perverting it, history can be reduced
in the eyes o f society to insignificance, thus infinitely increasing
the dangers which ignorance can bring down on all. What I call
the “abuse” o f the Holocaust — the negation, perversion, por-
nografication and trivialization o f the Holocaust in litera tu re —
suggests tha t this may be happen ing and commands ou r vigi­
lance.