UVA history professor explores origins of Nazi animus toward JewsHistorians in the News
tags: Jews, Nazi
UVA professor Alon Confino is intrigued with the stories Nazis told themselves to justify mass extermination.
“We all tell stories about our past,” said Confino, a native of Jerusalem and a history professor at the University of Virginia and at Ben Gurion University in Israel. “These stories are usually a combination of facts, embellishments, repressions and lies – not what really happened. We need stories to affirm our identities. We tell these stories not in order to get the facts right, but in order to understand our world.”
Confino’s latest book, “A World Without Jews: The Nazi Imagination from Persecution to Genocide,” published this fall by Yale University Press, traces how the Nazis imagined the Jews as a symbol of historical time that had to be erased for Aryan civilization to arise. According to this story, the Nazis constructed a new German, European and Christian history that owed nothing to the Jews.
He said that societies tell their stories to give meaning to their world, as a way of shaping their present.
“Societies tell different stories that change from generation to generation,” he said. “How the United States looked at the issue of slavery in the 1930s is different from how it looks at it now.”
The Nazis devised a narrative to justify evil...
comments powered by Disqus
- ‘Make it right’: Descendants of slaves demand restitution from Georgetown
- See How Trump's Approval Rating Stacks Up Against Other Presidents After One Year
- Bayeux Tapestry to be displayed in Britain
- From prudish Victorians to arrows in the eye – 10 things from history everyone gets wrong
- State lawmaker files bill to remove Virginia's Robert E. Lee statue from U.S. Capitol
- George Will goes after liberal historian David Goldfield
- Stephen F. Cohen continues to berate Democrats for “demonizing Russia”
- Historian Taner Akçam’s new book includes "smoking gun" of Armenian Genocide
- Historian Antony Beevor “Astonished" At Ukraine Ban On His Best-Selling Book, “Stalingrad”
- Robert Caro says he’s reached 1966 in his next book on LBJ