To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering… Friedrich Nietzsche

Neil Gregor is a lecturer in history at a minor English university and from the tenor of his works would have been delighted to see Morgenthau’s plans to pastoralize Germany after the second world war put into effect. This book is an attempt to portray the city of Nuremberg as marching in lock step with the Nazis and Nazism and prove that all they have done since the war is rend their garments and beat their breasts in plaintive cries of guilt. Not unlike his other work in which he attempts to prove that Mercedes Benz was responsible for the German war effort from an industrial perspective – and positioned itself uniquely to survive in a post Nazi Germany – the book is short on fact, those that are used are carefully selected and tailored, and long on conjecture and misrepresentations.

There can be no doubt that the excesses of the Nazis under Hitler were every bit as bad as the atrocities of Stalin and Mao. To blame an entire people, or even all of the people of a  single city, as complicit and exemplars of all of the vices of the regime you might as well blame Chicago or Detroit for Obama. You may reason from the universal to the particular – murder is a bad thing, John X has murdered, therefore John X has done a bad thing. If you reason from the particular to the universal you need to be a bit more careful – murder is a bad thing, John X has murdered using a knitting needle, knitting needles are dangerous weapons and need to be regulated… you can see the problem?

Haunted city : Nuremberg and the Nazi past New Haven [Conn.] ; London : Yale University Press, c 2008 Neil Gregor Nuremberg (Germany) History 20th century Hardcover. 1st. ed. and printing. xvi, 390 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [379]-380) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text.  VG/VG  

Nuremberg — a city associated with Nazi excesses, party rallies, and the extreme anti-Semitic propaganda published by Hitler ally Julius Streicher —  has struggled since the Second World War to come to terms with the material and moral legacies of Nazism. This book explores how the Nuremberg community has confronted the implications of the genocide in which it participated, while also dealing with the appalling suffering of ordinary German citizens during and after the war. Neil Gregor’s compelling account of the painful process of remembering and acknowledging the Holocaust offers new insights into postwar memory in Germany and how it has operated.

Gregor takes a novel approach to the theme of memory, commemoration, and remembrance, and he proposes a highly nuanced explanation for the failure of Germans to face up to the Holocaust for years after the war. His book makes a major contribution to the social and cultural history of Germany.


Comments Off on To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering… Friedrich Nietzsche

Filed under Book Reviews

Comments are closed.