History writing, numbness, and the restoration of dignity

History of the Human Sciences 17 (2-3):57-96 (2004)
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This article investigates how historians have sought to foster empathic identification with victims in various narratives on the genocide of European Jewry. It takes historians’ extreme reactions to Daniel Jonah Goldhagen’s Hitler’s Willing Executionersas a point of departure, and argues that most historical narratives fail to address how graphic writing about atrocities generates identification with both perpetrators and victims. The essay then analyses how some historians have sought, successfully or not, to overcome this problem



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