A SEASON FOR HEALING: Reflections on the Holocaust by Anne Roiphe

A SEASON FOR HEALING: Reflections on the Holocaust

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Pursuing many of the themes she investigated in Generation Without Memory (1981), Roiphe seeks here to do nothing less than place the tragedy of the Holocaust in historical perspective. According to Roiphe, the Holocaust has become so identified with the Jewish community that it has lost its universal significance. Christians, she points out, feel called upon to deny (and, in the process, forget) their culpability, while Jews persist in appropriating the Holocaust for themselves. Both positions, Roiphe states, are unacceptable, creating a divisiveness between the two groups. It is only by acknowledging the Jewish nature of the event and then moving on to a further acknowledgement of its universal implications that the lessons of the tragedy can be assimilated and its historical relevance seen. In her investigations, Roiphe tackles such questions as: ""How does the Holocaust affect the belief in God?,"" ""What was the Roman Catholic involvement (or lack of involvement) in the tragedy?,"" ""How has the Holocaust influenced Jewish-American politics'?"" Roiphe also explores the ""lost friendship"" between Jews and American blacks, and is particulary astute in delineating the pressures that have recently divided the two groups. Finally, in her chapter dealing with Jews and Catholics, the author looks at Jewish reactions to the Catholic Church's beatification of Edith Stein--the Jewish convert to Catholicism who died in Auschwitz--and to the Pope's visit with Austrian president Waldheim. Her analyses here are free of cant and, by and large, convincing. A thoughtful, well-written appeal for understanding and growth--in a world still divided by the events of more than 40 years ago.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1988
Publisher: Summit/Simon & Schuster