Narratives of Totalitarianism: Nazism's Anti-Semitic Propaganda During World War II and the Holocaust

Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary 2006 (135):32-60 (2006)
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In recent decades, historians have probed the kinds of narratives that they tell in constructing the past. In the process, we have devoted too little attention to the ways that historical actors themselves translate beliefs and ideologies into narratives of events, which themselves become causal factors of great importance. In this essay, and the longer work from which it is drawn, I examine this translation as it emerged in Nazi Germany's anti-Semitic propaganda campaigns during World War II and the Holocaust. In so doing, I argue that the concept of totalitarianism, when applied to the Nazi dictatorship, remains an indispensable…



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