ONE, BY ONE, BY ONE: Facing the Holocaust by Judith Miller

ONE, BY ONE, BY ONE: Facing the Holocaust

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A journalist's thorough but unsatisfying study of six key nations' historical treatment of the Nazi Holocaust. Deputy Media Editor of the New York Times, Miller presents and analyzes telling statistics, surveys, and interviews in weighing the wartime traumas and memories of several countries. However, because she ignores the theological underpinnings of Holocaust dynamics, her insights into psychological and political motivations are limited. In examining Germany's collective memory of Nazi atrocities, Miller focuses on recent reunions of Holocaust survivors where gentiles and Jews are finally ready to confront their past and each other. Germany's comparative candor about the Holocaust allows that nation to come off as relatively reconciled and healthy. Austria, on the contrary, still winces with underlying guilt as Austrian specters named Hitler, Eichmann, Waldheim, Kreisky, and Wiesenthal glide past the national stage. Miller's research is less damaging to the Netherlands, but the veneer peels off that nation's shrine to patron saint Anne Frank when we learn that Frank was one of 8,000 Jews turned in by Dutch informers. Staunchly resistant Belgium made France look cowardly, and the Klans Barbie affair stirred up fears that the French ""resistance"" would be exposed as a fraud. If France's Jewish victims are whitewashed as ""deportees,"" the Soviet Union has been even more reluctant to share martyrdom with the war's chief target of all-out genocide. And while no monument stands at Babi Yar, America is seen to be awash in too many financially and politically tainted memorials. Moreover, Miller herself politicizes the Holocaust, railing against the rightist and Zionist Rabbi Hier of L.A.'s Wiesenthal Center while lauding Arafat's leftist friend Rosensaft. A potential tour de force on Holocaust history that unfortunately lapses into a slanted, overextended op-ed piece.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1990
Publisher: Simon & Schuster