War endlessly tries to mask itself. The myth of the heroic soldier testing his individual courage stands in stark contrast to the reality of mass, anonymous death and the suppression of individual actions. Murder in Our Midst shows that this fundamental tension reached its natural conclusion in the Holocaust, and that disguising it has required an ongoing effort to misrepresent war and the Holocaust as something other than industrial killing. Examining a broad range of the representations of wars horrors, from scholarly depictions to those in popular literature, poetry, art, and the movies, Omer Bartov finds they have some things in common. Societies and cultures have attempted to form coherent images of horrific events, to draw didactic lessons from them, and to exploit them to legitimate ideological or political positions. Made up of interconnected essays, this book is both a scholarly and an often personal and passionate examination of the emergence, implementation, and representation of industrial killing. Bartov draws out the links between recent revisionist attempts to minimize and deny the Holocaust, and Hollywoods ongoing fascination with National Socialism and Hitlers Final Solution. Arguing that the modern predicament reflects the effects of the Nazi genocide on current perceptions of war, history, and memory, this book is a plea for compassion and commitment in an increasingly violent and indifferent world.
- Publication Date:
- 18 / 01 / 1996