There are many angles from which to perceive the contemporary holocaust-era claims. In 1997, Time magazine quoted Elie Wiesel as saying that, [i]f all the money in all the Swiss banks were turned over, it would not bring back the life of one Jewish child. But the money is a symbol. It is part of the story. If you suppress any part of the story, it comes back later, with force and violence.
Wiesel touches on two perspectives: first, what has been described as litigating the holocaust, with all that that implies about the law's questionable capacity to adjudicate issues containing vast extra-legal components; and secondly, the problematic of suppression and erasure that has pervaded the holocaust at many different levels. Suppression and erasure are recurrent and very complicated phenomena of history and historiography in general, whether perpetrated willfully or unwittingly.
They have played a particularly significant role in the context of the holocaust. The massive number of deaths yielded a terrible weight of silence, and the erasure of memory occurred in a multiplicity of ways, including: (1) viciously and cynically on the part of many who sought to hide all traces of their crimes; (2) protectively on the part of some who sought to save the lives of the persecuted; and (3) inevitably as the result of the disappearance of a world and culture destroyed beyond any possibility of resuscitation by the few individuals who survived in displacement and dispersal.
Vivian G. Curran,
Competing Frameworks for Assessing Contemporary Holocaust-Era Claims,
Fordham International Law Journal, Vol. 25, p. S-107, 2001
Available at: https://scholarship.law.pitt.edu/fac_articles/426
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