HAROLD MARCUSE

The Revival of Holocaust Awareness in West Germany, Israel, and the United States

in Carol Fink et al., 1968: The World Transformed, New York, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998, 421-35


All the protest movements of 1968 shared a concern with legitimacy. When legitimacy cannot be based on metaphysical arguments, it is commonly derived from interpretations of history. In 1968 two major historical experiences, Nazism and the Holocaust, were wielded as symbolic weapons. Both contributed to, and were shaped by, the events of that watershed year.

This chapter discusses the role of Holocaust consciousness in 1968 in West Germany and compares it with that in two other countries, Israel and the United States. West Germany was the only successor state identified with the crimes of the Third Reich;1 its rebellious youth demanded a clear accounting for the past. Israel, whose legitimacy derived in part from its identification with the victims of the Holocaust, was suddenly transformed into a conqueror after the 1967 Six-Day War. And the United States was the country that had liberated Europe in 1944-5 but during the Vietnam War suddenly found itself accused of Nazi-like atrocities. Only in West Germany did rising awareness of the Holocaust help to precipitate the conflicts of 1968; that recovery of knowledge began to take place in the late 1950s.
 

THE WEST GERMAN BACKGROUND
By the mid-1950s, the horrors of the Third Reich were almost completely excluded from public discussion in West Germany.2 Within the next ten
years, however, the situation was transformed. Several important incidents coincided with the adolescence of the generation of 1968.

The first was the "Anne Frank wave," which began with the republication of her diary in 1955. Within five years, seven hundred thousand copies were sold, making it the best-selling paperback in West German history. By February 1960, a theater adaptation had been performed 2,150 times for 1.75 million viewers, and the 1959 film version had already been seen by almost 4.5 million people. 3 In 1958, a collection of testimonies relating Anne's deportation to Auschwitz and her death from typhus at Bergen-Belsen also became a best-seller and was adapted as a radio play that reached a large audience.4

In 1957 Alain Resnais's short, stark documentary Night and Fog brought scenes from the concentration camps back into the movie houses of West Germany. Discussed on television and used for instructional purposes in schools, Night and Fog presented the first graphic depiction of the workings of the camps and of the techniques of mass murder used by the Nazis since the end of the first Nuremberg Trial, in 1946.5

An event of longer-term significance occurred in 1958 with the establishment of the Ludwigsburg Central Office for the Pursuit of National Socialist Crimes of Violence, a national clearing house dedicated to bringing Nazi perpetrators to justice.6 The first major trial in 1958-9, in which two exceptionally sadistic SS sergeants were convicted of sixty-seven and forty-six individual murders and on many counts of manslaughter, respectively, was made into a film and distributed to school suppliers in some parts of Germany.7

 A fourth episode linked the Holocaust even more directly with West Germany's present. Between Christmas 1959 and the end of January 1960, a wave of anti-Semitic vandalism partially supported by East German agitators, tarnished Bonn's carefully established distancing from the Nazi past.8 The vandalism prompted official investigations of history textbooks and curricula, the publication of new textbooks, and increased pedagogical attention to the process of "mastering the past" (Bewältigung der Vergangenheit).9

In addition to formal history instruction and the recollections of their parents, young West Germans learned about the Nazi period from the mass media, which now included television. In the 1950s, magazines such as Stern and Quick had found praiseworthy elements in some Nazi leaders, had downplayed Nazi atrocities, and had discredited attempts to draw lessons from the past. But that changed dramatically by circa 1960.10

In the early 1960s an accusatory literature by Germans too young to have been complicit in the Nazi regime emerged. It included Christian Geissler's Sins of the Fathers (1960) and Gudrun Tempel's Germany: An Indictment of My People (1963). Hermann Eich, although a member of the generation that had supported the Nazi regime, recognized the anger of the younger generation. He admitted, "It is no use quoting the Allied bombing of Dresden [to them]. Dresden is the end of a chain whose links we  ourselves forged."11

The trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem in 1961 electrified West Germany.12 The Israeli prosecutor, in order to avert the danger of exonerating
the tens of thousands of cogs in the machine of mass extermination by pinpointing responsibility on the chief architect of the Holocaust, focused his case on Eichmann's role in the huge, complicated Nazi state system. He thereby turned the trial into what one historian called a powerful "lesson in contemporary history".13

During the next five years, the public sphere in West Germany became increasingly absorbed with the past. The Central Prosecutor's Office initiated four major trials of members of execution squads, including the sensational Frankfurt trial of Auschwitz personnel, which ran from December 1963 to August 1965.14 In the years that followed, the German intellectual world produced a series of important works examining the links between West Germany's past, present, and future.15 Of particular importance for the emerging protest generation was the discussion of fascism sparked by Ernst Nolte's historical study of the phenomenon in France, Italy, and Germany. The discussion unfolded primarily on the pages of Das Argument, a Berlin journal devoted to issues of concern to the 1968 generation.16

In its last years, the Adenauer government became increasingly sensitive to charges of continuity with the past. Revelations about officials' ties with the Nazis, once brushed aside as East German subversion, now elicited formal responses and explanations.17 The so-called Spiegel affair of 1962, in which the government applied measures reminiscent of Nazi censorship against the popular news magazine and its journalists, led to the resignation of Minister of Defense Franz Josef Strauss and hastened the retirement of Adenauer himself.18

Other institutions were also placed on the defensive. Rolf Hochhuth's play The Deputy (1963) charged the papacy with inaction in the face of
detailed knowledge about the extermination of European Jews.19 Several West German universities offered public lecture series on the role of the academy during the Nazi era; the lectures were promptly criticized for their apologetic tendencies and unconscious linguistic links to National
Socialist diction.20

The formation of the Grand Coalition government in 1966 caused a blossoming of activism at the political extremes. On the far right, a nationalist neo-Nazi party, the National Democratic Party (Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands or NPD) gained a substantial number of votes in state elections between 1966 and 1968, while on the far left, the extraparliamentary opposition (ausserparlamentarische Opposition or APO) was formed.21 The intensification of American involvement in Vietnam contributed to the radicalization of Germany's youth. By 1966 the Socialist German Student League (Sozialistische Deutsche Studentenbund or SDS) protested its own government's complicity with slogans such as "Murder by poison gas!" and "genocide."22 The term "genocide" (Völkermord) had been firmly linked to the Holocaust in the 1965 parliamentary debate about extending the statute of limitations for mass murder committed during the Nazi era.23 Already in 1966 young radicals were applying the epithet to Southeast Asia: the slogan "Vietnam is the Auschwitz of America" appeared on the walls of Dachau.24

A slightly older, intermediate generation, born in the 1920s and 1930s, viewed left-wing radicalism as an echo of the right-wing violence that had brought Hitler to power. Its mass-media spokesman, press magnate Axel Springer, called the radicals "gangs of thugs" and decried their "SA methods."25 After the demonstrations against the visit of the Shah of Iran in 1967, the student government of Berlin's Free University received a host of threatening letters drenched in Nazi invectives: "Starting now my colleagues and relatives are prepared with dog whips and night sticks," and "Vermin should be doused with gasoline and set on fire. Death to the red student plague!"26
 
 

1968 IN WEST GERMANY


During three major incidents in 1968, West Germany was forced to confront the Nazi past. In May, after more than ten years of discussion, parliament prepared to adopt the so-called Emergency Laws. The Grand Coalition now had sufficient votes to pass laws that would establish an important prerequisite to West Germany's full autonomy, ending the Western allies' right to intervene in emergency situations. At a huge protest march on the eve of the passage of those laws, opponents recalled the emergency laws of the 1920s that had been used to undermine democracy during the Weimar Republic and that had eased Hitler's path to power.27

A few months later a group of protesters appeared at Dachau where survivors had organized an elaborate ceremony to celebrate the completion of a permanent memorial site.28 Many of the foreign survivors of Dachau had made careers as military men in NATO countries, and they gave the ceremony a decidedly military flavor with marches and music by honorary formations of the Belgian, French, and American armies. Not only the military aura of the occasion raised the ire of young Germans, who felt the anti-imperialist lesson of Nazi aggression was being ignored. They also objected to the participation of NATO forces, which were supporting the military junta in the Greek civil war, and especially to the presence of Klaus Schütz, the mayor of West Berlin. Schütz, who as head of the Parliamentary Council represented the West German president at Dachau, had defended the police riot in 1967 in which the Berlin student Benno Ohnesorg was killed. More recently, in April 1968, he had ordered the brutal dispersal of mass demonstrations after an attempt was made on student leader Rudi Dutschke's life. During Schütz's keynote speech a few dozen young demonstrators unfurled banners and chanted slogans such as "Today pogrom and propaganda, tomorrow the Final Solution, Herr Schütz''; "They commemorate today and exterminate tomorrow"; "We fight against fascism, NATO, and imperialism"; and "Dachau greets Hitler's successors."

Although the protesters identified themselves with the anti-Nazi resistance, the primarily Francophone Dachau survivors did not understand their slogans. When someone called out "C'est les fascistes!" a physical struggle ensued between old antifascists and young radicals. One protester described his experience that day: "Five cops grabbed my Vietnam flag, but I didn't let go .... When we went past the VIP bleachers an old antifascist jumped down and punched me in the face. I lost my flag. A half hour later the old man came running up to me, hugged me, stroked my cheek again and again, and repeated, probably about ten times, 'Pardon, mon camarade.'"29 Although the older generation of survivors found the protest out of place, they harbored no sympathies for the West German political establishment.

The third climactic event took place in Berlin on November 7, 1968, coincidentally the eve of the thirtieth anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom. On the last day of the CDU party congress, Beate Klarsfeld walked up to Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger, called him a "Nazi," and slapped him. She was immediately arrested. The twenty-nine-year-old wife of the French Nazi hunter Serge Klarsfeld, who had long condemned Kiesinger's past as a top-ranked propaganda official in the Nazi Foreign Office, read a prepared statement expressing the "rage" of German youth over the leadership roles of former Nazis.30

How widespread was the awareness of the Nazi past among young activists in 1968? Anecdotal evidence suggests that it was substantial.31 Miriam Hansen (b. 1949), whose parents had given her a copy of Anne Frank's diary in the early 1960s and who had followed the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial very closely before enrolling at Frankfurt University in 1967, later recalled that "a whole generation stood accused."32 Detlef Hoffmann (b. 1940), who had seen Night and Fog and heard the Anne Frank radio documentary in the 1950s and who followed Holocaust-related events closely, identified strongly with the protest movement.33

This consciousness of the Holocaust does not necessarily imply, however, that these historical events had deep emotional roots in all members of the 1968 generation. Prior to the summer of 1968, the use of analogies was rooted more in political instrumentalism than in a detailed knowledge of these events. Several studies conducted in the second half of the 1960s confirm this finding. For example, a study in 1965 characterized the attitudes of young people who evinced interest in the Nazi era as "cool, rational, upstanding . . . and without historical imagination."34 Another study, prompted by the political violence following the Easter 1968 assassination attempt on Rudi Dutschke  found that students recited their knowledge of the National Socialist period by rote, as if it were ancient history, and that they described "the horrors of the concentration camps ... in a disconcertingly sober and detached way."35 Even after the climactic events of 1968, change was slow in coming. For instance, when a 1964 study of historical consciousness among young Germans was republished in 1970, its authors wrote, "Although the younger generation's political sensibilities and readiness to become politically involved have remarkably expanded, its ahistorical relationship to the past has not changed."36

Since 1967, some influential members of the intermediate generation, those born in the late 1920s and early 1930s who had been schooled by Nazism but not active in it, had been trying to steer the protest movement toward a more moderate course. Generally sympathetic to the political concerns of the young protesters, they rejected their radical methods and attempted to find a following among the moderates. Many of them were among the 120 West German intellectuals who in March 1968 signed a public appeal to demonstrators and police to respect legality.37

A few prominent individuals were openly critical of student radicalism. The social philosopher Jürgen Habermas, an early protagonist of the politicization of students, coined the term "left-wing fascism" (Linksfaschismus) to characterize the violent tactics of the most radical protesters.38 The political scientist Richard Löwenthal openly linked the youthful protesters with Nazi ideology as the "unconscious continuation of some of the intellectual currents that helped to make those [Nazi] horrors possible."39 The historian Hans-Joachim Winker, an astute critic of romanticized images of the Third Reich, also reproached the APO in 1968 for its overblown attacks on the Bonn government.40

It is, of course, difficult to gauge the effects of such rebukes on West German youth. Anecdotes such as the following suggest that even with the passage of time some radicals did not gain a deeper, self-critical understanding of the implications of the Nazi past for the present. In the 1980s a high-school student recalled:

We once had a history teacher. Long beard, ski sweater, jeans - the works. Boy, did he carry on about everything. For hours, he'd talk about the Jews, the Communists, the Gypsies, the Russians - victims, nothing but victims . . . . Once, someone asked him in class: "Tell us, where was the madness? Why did all those people shout hurrah anti Heil', . . . There must have been something to it." He just looked stupid, our dear teacher. He called the boy who'd asked the question a neo-Nazi, asked him whether he had no respect for the victims, and so on .... Then he let loose. He screamed at us. Gone was that left-wing softy of the sixties. All hell broke loose. At last we had broken through the facade of this all-understanding, allknowing, all-explaining puppet.41

However, a preponderance of evidence suggests that many members of the 1960s generation did indeed develop a more self-reflective, less instrumental understanding of the causes of the Holocaust in the wake of 1968. The Jusos, the official youth organization of the Social Democratic Party, for instance, steered a course between the middle generation's general defense of the establishment and the APO's use of violent tactics.42

Two subsequent events at Dachau illustrate the transformation of Holocaust awareness among the politically active youth. In January 1969 the satirical magazine Pardon staged a symbolic reopening of the Dachau concentration camp to draw attention to the parallels between a proposed new "protective custody" law and its Nazi-era predecessor.43 In contrast to the September 1968 incident, Dachau survivors were informed beforehand and were present to lend their support.

In the fall of 1969 the annual commemorative ceremony for young people in Dachau was given a radically different format. Instead of speeches, three parallel working groups were organized to discuss three topics: "The goals and tactics of nonviolent resistance," "The roots of National Socialism and right-wing extremism today" and "Democracy and industrial society." Led by experts such as Gerhard Schoenberner, these workshops offered serious historical discussion instead of superficial historical analogies.44

Afterward, a large proportion of the radicals of 1968 entered the mainstream through what was called "the long march through the institutions."
For example, as high school teachers they took their classes to concentration camp memorial sites in unprecedented numbers.45 By the early 1970s, the Jusos began working within the Social Democratic Party to create a more informed awareness of the Nazi past. In March 1970, the Dachau chapter of the Jusos developed an elaborate program of local research, seminars, films, and in-depth discussions that prefigured the development of Holocaust consciousness in West Germany during the next two decades.46

With the end of the Grand Coalition and the accession of Willy Brandt to the chancellorship in 1969, the new relationship to the past of the younger generation was reflected at the highest level of politics. When Brandt, a political exile between 1933 and 1945, kneeled before the Warsaw ghetto monument in December 1970, he expressed an openness to and a remorse for the Nazi past that would have been unthinkable just a few years earlier.47 His Ostpolitik, bringing rapprochement with some of the Third Reich's victims, was another outcome of the new consciousness forged by the late 1960s.48

The unreflective use of the Holocaust, however, did not completely disappear from West Germany after 1968. In the 1970s a small minority of extremist  radicals heightened the violent tactics of the late 1960s to a terrorist campaign against the "establishment." Although putatively fighting against fascist structures, their methods reproduced fascist behavior. The crassest example of this occurred during the hijacking of a French aircraft en route from Tel Aviv in June 1976.49 When the plane landed in Entebbe, Uganda, all of the hostages, except the Jewish passengers, who included some concentration camp survivors, were released. One of them showed his Auschwitz tattoo to the German hijackers, who responded that their goals were different from those of the Nazis. Although that may have been true, these young radicals' tactics certainly were not. In spite of this violent legacy, 1968 marked a watershed in the broader public awareness of Nazi criminality.
 

ISRAEL


As in West Germany, the subject of the Nazi extermination of the Jews was almost absent from Israeli public discourse until the 1950s. Holocaust survivors, whose horrendous experiences were difficult to comprehend by a militantly pioneering society, bore the stigma of not having resisted. Israel's public recollections of the Nazi era focused on ghetto uprisings, not on mass degradation and extermination. According to Tom Segev, the Holocaust served mainly as a political bargaining tool to obtain reparation payments from West Germany and to strengthen Israel's position in the international community.50

Israel's relationship with West Germany was part of the uneven process of social recovery of memory that began in the late 1950s. Adenauer's meeting with Prime Minister David Ben Gurion in New York on March 14, 1960, paved the way for economic and military cooperation and for the establishment of full diplomatic relations in May 1965.51 The protests that accompanied the arrival of the new West German ambassador gave witness to the persistence of Nazi stereotypes. In Israeli perceptions, West Germany remained a disconcerting amalgam of the old and the new.52

For Israel, as for West Germany, the Eichmann trial marked a turning point in the collective process of recovering knowledge of the Holocaust.53 In contrast to West Germany, the politicization of the Holocaust was sparked neither by domestic unrest nor by debates over foreign policy, but by an external threat in the spring of 1967. Whereas West Germans produced analogies with the political chaos of the Weimar years, in Israel the primary comparison was between Hitler and Egypt's president, Gamal Abdel Nasser.

In May 1967, Nasser expelled the United Nations force that was patrolling the Gaza Strip and placed an embargo on goods passing through the Red Sea bound for Israel. Using a vocabulary reminiscent of Hitler, he promised to "exterminate" Jewish capitalists and create a "Greater Arabian Empire."54 On the eve of the Six-Day War, Israelis were terrified. As a soldier recalled, "People believed we would be exterminated if we lost the war. We got this idea - or inherited it - from the concentration camps. It's a concrete idea for anyone who has grown up in Israel, even if he personally didn't experience Hitler's persecution."55 Another soldier, who two days before the war had visited the Israeli museum that commemorated the ghetto fighters, recalled, "I felt that our war began there, in the crematoriums, in the camps, in the ghettos, and in the forests."56

These associations with the Holocaust undermined the government's attempt to steer a less confrontational course with Israel's Arab neighbors. Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, the main proponent of a moderate course, was compared to Neville Chamberlain. Before the outbreak of war, Israelis satirized his efforts by joking that umbrellas were sold out in Tel Aviv.57

After Israel's spectacular victory in the Six-Day War, however, some soldiers drew on the Holocaust to express their discomfort in the role of military occupiers:

If I had any clear awareness of the world war years and the fate of European Jewry it was once when I was going up the Jericho road and the refugees were going down it. I identified directly with them. When I saw parents dragging their children along by the hand, I actually almost saw myself being dragged along by my own father .... It wasn't so noticeable in times of action, but just at those moments when we felt the suffering of others, of the Arabs, against whom we fought.58

International support for Israel was especially pronounced in West Germany and the United States. After press warnings that Israel was under a "threat of extermination," thousands of West Germans participated in pro-Israel demonstrations, made generous donations to aid-Israel societies, and volunteered to undertake reconstruction work after the war.59 In Der Spiegel, the one-eyed Israeli defense minister Moshe Mayan was compared to the anti-Nazi resistance fighter Claus von Stauffenburg, who had also worn an eye patch.61

In the United States there was a similar outpouring of moral and material support.61 Only on the Left, which linked American intervention in
Vietnam to Israel's lightning victory and conquest, was the reaction split. One of the few critics of Israeli policy, the Polish Jewish Marxist Isaac
Deutscher, argued that the legacy of the Holocaust in no way justified Israeli belligerence toward the Arabs, and that the consequences might he similar to those of Germany's extreme nationalism in the 1930s.62 This critique, disconcertingly close to Arab and Soviet charges that Zionism was a racist ideology, did not attract a large following in the West.

Israel's new role as an occupying power initiated a brief process of introspection about the role of the Holocaust in contemporary Israeli politics, but such reflections were neither widespread nor long lasting. The terrorist murders of eleven Israeli athletes at the Olympics in Munich in 1972 and the Arab surprise attack on Israel in October 1973 rekindled the powerful imagery of annihilation. The hardliner Menachem Begin, a Holocaust survivor who had joined Eshkol's cabinet in 1967, first spearheaded and then, as prime minister after 1977, presided over the public use of the Holocaust as a legitimizing factor in Israeli politics.63

Begins election victory, ending three decades of Labor control and producing the first peace treaty with a major Arab state, stirred a new debate over Israel's relationship to the European past. In the wake of the shock of 1973, the divisive war in Lebanon, and the prolonged Palestinian uprising (Intifada), large numbers of Israeli youth, joined by some members of the middle and older generations, not only challenged the automatic connection between Hitler and Arab leaders but also began to question their own behavior toward the Arab people. A serious revision of the causes and results of the Six-Day War began, however, only with the end of the Cold War. Israel's debate over the past and the present continues to this day.64
 

THE UNITED STATES


In the twentieth century, the United States departed from its traditional isolationism to assert itself as an international role model, as the "honest broker" in World War I, liberator in World War II, and vanguard of freedom and democracy during the Cold War.65 In the 1960s, this self-image, which underlay the United States' massive involvement in Vietnam, provided the components for a major public debate about America's own past.
At the beginning of that decade, most young Americans perceived no connection between their elders and the period of the Holocaust. What
had occurred in Europe during World War II was firmly and comfortingly linked to specifically German traits, whether as described in William Shirer's best-seller The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1960) or as analyzed in Hans Kohn's treatise The Mind of Germany: The Education of a Nation (1960).66 In addition to reading Anne Frank's diary, with its sequel, and Elie Wiesel's memoir Night (1960), Americans first learned the grim details of the Holocaust through the Eichmann trial.67 Raul Hilberg's massive study The Destruction of the European Jews (1961), although not widely read at the time, set a new standard for scholarly research on the subject.68

At first the escalation of U.S. military activities in Vietnam in 1965 was accompanied by an outpouring of public support. The Johnson administration inverted the analogy of British appeasement in the 1930s to justify its policy of supporting a beleaguered ally in Southeast Asia as part of America's Cold War commitment to freedom.69

At the same time, America's own record in World War II came into question. Gar Alperovitz's Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam (1965) argued that the use of atomic weapons against Japan had been an unnecessary slaughter of human life.70 In 1968 Arthur Morse, Sheldon Spear, and David Wyman published works chronicling America's apathy and inactivity during the Holocaust.71

By the mid-1960s, meanwhile, a more positive image of West Germany was beginning to emerge in the United States. The dissemination of the experiments of the psychologist Stanley Milgram, which underscored a general human ability to inflict harm on others, diminished the sense of a specifically German responsibility, as well as of the complete innocence of others for the Holocaust.72

Nevertheless, the predominance of America's self-perception as the unsullied hero of World War II persisted. That changed drastically in January 1968, however, after North Vietnamese forces launched the massive Tet offensive, especially after photographs of the shooting of a suspectedVietcong infiltrator brought the war's brutality home to millions of Americans.73 As two journalists later wrote, "By early 1968 [favorable] comparisons with the war against the Nazis disappeared altogether from American television."74

Another event, perpetrated by U.S. troops after the Tet Offensive, turned the Holocaust analogy completely around, namely, the March 1968 massacre of hundreds of defenseless civilians in the South Vietnamese village of My Lai. A helicopter reconnaissance pilot who rescued some of the civilians recalled the massacre in teens of "what the Nazis had done in the last war - marching people to a ditch and blowing them away."75 The French magazine Express editorialized in late November: "The Americans have learned that they have become the equals of the French in Indochina, Madagascar, and Algeria, and of the Germans at Oradour."76

The Six-Day War had already revived Holocaust images in the United States. Historian Edward Linenthal considers the Six-Day War "by far the
most important event in the resurrection of Holocaust imagery in American life."77 One year later, the first two textbooks designed for college
courses on the Holocaust - the term itself was applied to the Nazi genocide for the first time - were published.78 Soon there was a proliferation of Holocaust studies, workshops, monuments, and museums as well as serious historical and philosophical analyses of the subject.

In 1968 the American antiwar movement, like its West German counterpart, employed extensive Holocaust imagery to challenge the morality
and legitimacy of its government's Cold War policies. The instrumental use of this analogy startled and angered the middle and older generations. The German-Jewish emigré scholar Peter Gay chided the "under 20s [for their] casual use of the name Auschwitz [and] of the ominous word 'genocide.'"79
 

CONCLUSION


In 1968, there were heated disputes between the protest movements and ruling elites over continuities with the past. Two historical analogies,
Nazism and the Holocaust, were repeatedly applied to the moral and political debates that year in West Germany Israel, and the United States.
We can discern three different generations interacting within the public spheres of three robust democracies. The youngest generation, whose consciousness was formed in the 1950s in the aftermath of a vicariously experienced world war, viewed the establishment as rigid and repressive. The eldest group, born before the mid-1920s and holding political views shaped by experiences during the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, supported rigid structures within the system and held reactionary values. The intermediate group, born roughly in the late 1920s, defended the system but recognized the need for evolutionary change.

In West Germany, all three groups used historical rhetoric to gain ground in the public sphere with epithets such as "genocide," "fascism," and "stormtroopers," while the mass media generally supported the forces of order. In the United States, the elders deployed Cold War and Vietnam-era stereotypes such as "commies" and "fags," the youthful protesters responded with "Nazis" and "pigs," while the media propagated the invective of both sides. In Israel, where a younger protest generation had not yet emerged, the division ran between hawkish promoters of war against a reincarnated Hitler and dovish advocates of accommodation with its Arab neighbors. Afterward, new and disquieting parallels were raised by members of all generations from youthful soldiers to Holocaust survivors, between Israeli and Nazi conquerors.80 In all three countries, however, 1968 represented a moment of transformation. As the Cold War reignited that year in Asia and Europe and began moving in a new direction, there was an effusion of political rhetoric based on historical analogy. Even if that rhetoric remained detached from the emerging holy of serious scholarship seeking to broaden and deepen our understanding of the horrors of the Hitler era, interna tionally a public awareness of the history of the Holocaust returned in 1968 and has not yet abated.
 
 



 
Notes


1 By identifying themselves as resisters and victims of Hitler, East Germany and Austria had succeeded in dissociating themselves from the crime of the Third Reich.

2 See Robert G. Moeller "War Stories: The Search for a Usable Past in the Federal Republic of Germany," American Historical Review 101, no. 4 (Oct. 1996); 108-48 and pt. 2 of Harold Marcuse, Remembering Dachau: Forgetting Genocide (Cambridge, 1998).

3 Ulrich Brochhagen, Nach Nürnberg: Vergangenheitsbewältigung und Westintegration in der Ära Adenauer (Hamburg, 1994), 434, n. 70; also Alvin Rosenfeld, "Popularization and Memory: The Case of Anne Frank;' in Peter Hayes, ed., Lessons and Legacies (Evanston, Ill., 1991), 243-78.

4 Ernst Schnabel, Anne Frank: Spur eines Kindes (Frankfurt am Main, 1958), translated as Anne Frank: A Portrait in Courage by R. and C. Winston (New York, 1958).

5 Karl Korn, "Nacht and Nebel," Frankfurter AlIgemeine Zeitung, Apr. 13, 1956. See also Die Zeit, Mar. 7, 1957, and the teacher's guide by Günter Moltmann Der Dokurnentarfilm Nacht und Nebel (Hamburg, 1957; reprint, Düsseldorf, 1960). For a general discussion of the film, see Walter Euchner, "Unterdrückte Vergangenheitsbewältigung: Motive der Filmpolitik in der Ära Adenauer:' in Rainer Eisfeld and Ingo Müller, eds. Gegen Barbarei: Essays Robert Kempner zu Ehren (Frankfurt am Mani, 1989), 346-59, 347-8.

6 The office was created after a former mass murderer attempted to sue for his reinstatement as a police officer. See Reinhard Henkys, Die nationalsozialistischen Gewaltverbrechen: Geschichte und Gericht (Stuttgart, 1964), 196-7, and Peter Steinbach, Nationalsozialistische Gewaltverbrechen: Die Diskussion in der deutschen Öffentlichkeit nach 1945 (Berlin, 1981), 46ff.

7 Ralph Giordano, Hier fliegen keine Schmetterlinge: Zwei Dokumentarfilme (Hamburg, 1961). The trial proceedings were published in Hendrik George Van Dam und Ralph Giordano, eds., KZ-Verbrechen vor deutschen Gerichten: Dokumente aus den Prozessen, 2 vols. (Frankfurt am Main, 1961;  reprint, Frankfurt am Main, 1966), 1: 151-510.

8 See the government's "White Book" on the incidents: Germany, Federal Government, ed., The Antisemitic and Nazi Incidents from 25 December 1959 Until 28 January 1960 (Bonn, 1960). For a less tendentious contemporary portrayal, see Peter Schönbach, Reaktionen auf die Antisemitische Welle im Winter 1959-1960 (Frankfurt am Main, 1961). On the East German agitators, whose exact role remains unclear, see Michael Wolffsohn, Die Deutschland-Akte: Juden und Deutsche in Ost und West: Tatsachen and Legenden (Munich, 1995), 18-27; and Werner Bergmann, Antisemitismus in öffentlichen Konflikten (Frankfurt am Main, 1997), 245-6.

9 See, e.g., the publication of Theodor Adorno's famous essay "Was bedeutet: Aufarbeitung der Vergangenheit;" in the educators' journal Staat, Erziehung, GeselIschaft 5, no. 1 (1960) ; 3ff. For later analyses, see Klaus Köhle "Die Vergangenheitsbewältigung - Geschichte eines Problems," in Raimund Baumgärtner, Helmut Beilner, and Klaus Köhle, Das Dritte Reich (Munich, 1971), 9-30; Karl Borcherding, Wege und Ziele politischer Bildung in Deutschland: Eine Materialsammlung zur Entwicklung der politischen Bildung in den Schulen 1871-1965 (Munich, 1965); and Karl Mielcke, 1917-1945 in den Geschichtsbüchern der Bundesrepublik (Hannover, 1961), 58-68, Hannah Vogt, Schuld odor Verhängnis: 12 Fragen an Deutschlands jüngsteVergangenheit (Frankfurt am Main, 1961), the first textbook since the late 1940s to deal openly and comprehensively with the Nazi period, was directly inspired by the wave of vandalism. See Gordon Craig's introduction to the English edition, The Burden of Guilt, trans. Herbert Strauss (Oxford, 1964).

10 George Fell, Zeitgeschichte im Deutschen Fernsehen: Analyse von Fernsehsendungen mit historischen Themen 1957-1967 (Osnabrück, 1974); Michael Schornstheimer, Bombenstimmung und Katzenjammer: Vergangenheitsbewältigung: Quick und Stern in den 50er Jahren (Cologne, 1989), 20-1.

11 Hermann Eich, The Germans, trans. Michael Glenny (New York, 1965), 217. The original German edition, Die unheimlichen Deutschen, was published in 1963.

12 Hans Lannn, ed., Der Eichmann-Prozess in der deutschen öffentlichen Meinung (Frankfurt am Main, 1961); ...

13 Steinbach, Nationalsozialistische Gewaltverbrechen, 53. For a listing of important contemporary publications see Randolf Braham, The Eichmann Case: A Source Book (New York, 1969).

14 Henkys, Nationalsozialistische Gewaltverbrechen, 197; Hermann Langbein, ed., Der Auschwitz-Prozess: Eine Dokumentation in zwei Bänden (Frankfurt am Main, 1965). See also Eugen Kogon, "'Auschwitz und eine menschliche Zukunft:' Eröffnungsrede zur Ausstellung von Dokumenten von and über Auschwitz in der Frankfurter Paulskirche, Busstag, 1964," in Frankfurter Hefte 19 (1964): 830-8; Martin Walser, "Unser Auschwitz," Kursbuch 1 (1965) and Stuttgarter Zeitung, Mar. 20, 1965; and Peter Weiss, Die Ermittlung (Frankfurt am Main, 1965).

15 See, for instance, Ulrich Sonnemann, Das Land der unbegrenzten Zumutbarkeiten: Deutsche Reflexionen (Hamburg, 1963); Kurt Sontheimer, "Der Antihistorismus des gegenwärtigen Zeitalters;" Neue Rundschau (1964): 611-31; Karl Jaspers, Wohin treibt die Bundesrepublik? Tatsachen-Chancen-Gefahren (Munich, 1966); Hans Buchheim, Aktuelle Krisenpunkte der deutschen Nationalbewusstseins (Maum, 1967); Gert Kalow, Hitler: Das Gesamtdeutsche Trauma (Munich, 1967); Alexander and Margarete Mitscherlich, Die Unfähigkeit zu trauern: Grundlagen kollektiven Verhaltens (Munich, 1967); and Arnim Mohler, Vergangenheitsbewältigung: Von der Läuterung zur Manipulation (Stuttgart, 1968).

16 Ernst Nolte, Der Faschismus in seiner Epoche (Munich 1963). On the significance of the fascism discussion, see the preface to the fourth edition of Wolfgang Fritz Haug, Der hilflose Antifaschismus (Cologne, 1977), 2, and Ronald Fraser et al., 1968: A Student Generation in Revolt (London, 1988), 50.

17 T. H. Tetens, The New Germany and the Old Nazis (New York, 1961). See the documentation in Vereinigung der Verfolgten des Naziregimes, ed., Die unbewältigte Gegenwart: Eine Dokumentation über die Rolle und Einfluss ehemals führender Nationalsozialisten in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Frankfurt am Main, 1961), as well as Lewis Edinger, "Continuity and Change in the Background of German Decision-Makers," Western Political Quarterly 14 (Mar. 1961): 17-36. From the GDR perspective, see Nationale Front des demokratischen Deutschlands, ed., Braunbuch: Kriegs- and Naziverbrechen in der Bundesrepublik: Staat, Wirtschaft,Armee, Justiz, VerwaItung, Wissenschaft ([East] Berlin, 1960, 1965, 1968).

24 "Anti-U.S. Posters at Dachau," New York Times, Nov. 8, 1966, 18.

25 "Demonstrieren - Ja! Randalieren - Nein!" Bild, June 3, 1967, quoted in Otto, APO, 236. Stuart J. Hilwigs chapter in this book offers many examples of the use of Nazi-era images in the escalating student battle between Springer and the student protesters.

26 Wilhelm Backhaus, Sind die Deutschen verrückt? Ein Psychogramm der Nation and ihrer Katastrophen (Bergisch Gladbach, 1968), 253-4. The Nazi flavor is more obvious in the original German: "Bei meinen Kollegen and Verwandten liegen ab sofort Hundepeitschen und Weichmacher bereit;" and "Ungeziefer muss man mit Benzin begiessen and anzünden. Tod der roten Studentenpest!"

27 Michael Schneider, Demokratie in Gefahr? Der Konflikt um die Notstandsgesetze: Sozialdemokratie, Gewerkschaften und intellektueller Protest (1958-1968) (Bonn, 1986), 182-8, 230-1, 239-40. Excerpts from the protest speeches are printed in Blätter für deutsche and internationale Politik 11 (1966), 1053-64.

28 Detailed documentation of the ceremony can be found in the Dachau Memorial Site Archive, binder "Mahnmal 1968."

29 Louts Köckert, Dachau ... und das Gras wächst ...: Ein Report fur die Nachgeborenen (Munich, 1980), 108-

30 Beate Klarsfeld, Die Geschichte des PG 2633930 Kiesinger: Dokumentation mit einem Vorwort von Heinrich Böll (Darmstadt, 1969), 75; and Beate Klarsfeld, Wherever They May Be! (New York, 1975), 50-63.

31 There is considerable evidence that the Holocaust was very present in the minds of activists: see Dörte von Westernhagen, Die Kinder der Täter: Das Dritte Reich und die Generation danach (Munich,. 1987); Peter Sichrovsky, Born Guilty: Children of Nazi Families (New York, 1988); Sabine Reichel, What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? Growing Up German (New York, 1989); Dan Bar On, Legacy of Silence (Cambridge, Mass., 1989); and Fraser et al., 1968, 19, 32. For reflections by members of a slightly older generation, see Ludwig Marcuse, ed., War ich ein Nazi? Politik-Anfechtung des Gewissens (Munich, 1968).

32 Michael Geyer and Miriam Hansen, "German-Jewish Memory and National Consciousness." In Geoffrey Hartmann, ed., Holocaust Remembrance: The Shapes of Memory (Oxford, 1994), 175-90, 180-1. The quotation is from p. 175.

33 Detlef Hoffmann, interview with the author, Apr. 28, 1991, and his "Erinnerungsarbeit der 'zweiten und dritten' Generation und 'Spurensuche' in der zeitgenössischen Kunst,' Kritische Berichte 16. no. 1 (1988): 31-46.

34 Walter Jaide, "Die Jugend and der Nationalsozialismus," in Die neue Cesellschaft 12, no. 3 (1965): 723-31, 730.

35 Fritz Vilmar, "Der Nationalsozialismus als didaktisches Problem;" Frankfurter Hefte 21, no. 10 (Oct. 1968): 683.

36 Ludwig Friedeburg and Peter Hübner, Das Geschichtsbild derJugend, 2d ed. (Munich, 1964; reprint. Munich, 1970), 5.

37 "Aufruf zur Wahrung der Rechtsstaatlichkeit;" Die Zeit, Mar. 8, 1968. Some prominent examples of this generation are Walter Jens (b. 1923), Siegfried Lenz (b. 1926), Günter Grass (b. 1927), Jakov Lind (b. 1927), Martin Walser (b. 1927), Jürgen Habermas (b. 1928), Walter Kempowski (b. 1929), Hans Magnus Enzensberger (h. 1930), and Rolf Hochhuth (b. 1931).

38 See Jürgen Habermas, "Kongress 'Hochschule and Demokratie,"' in Jürgen Habermas, Protestbewegunng und Hochschulreform (Frankfurt am Main, 1969), 137-49. Further excerpts from that original debate are published in Otto, APO, 239-48. Although Habermas quickly distanced himself from the term, a controversy surrounded it. Ibid., 1949-52. See Wolfgang Abendroth et al., Die Linke antwortet Jürgen Habermas (Frankfurt am Main, 1968); Jürgen Habermas, "Scheinrevolution unter Handlungszwang," Der Spiegel 22, no. 24 (June 10, 1968): 57-8; and Karl-Dietrich Bracher, Zeitgeschichtliche Kontroversen um Faschismus, Totalitarismus, Demokratie (Munich, 1976).

39 Richard Löwenthal, Romantischer Rückfall (Stuttgart, 1970), 13.

40 Hans-Joachim Winkler, Das Establishment antwortet der APO (Opladen, 1968).

41 Quoted in Sichrovsky, Born Guilty, 30-1. For similar anecdotes, see Reichel (b. 1946), What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? 8-9, and Ian Buruma, Wages of Guilt: Memories of War in Germany and Japan (New York, 1994), 140-1.

42 "Entschliessung des Bundeskongresses der Jungsozialisten zur Ausserparlamentarischen Opposition, 11-12 Mai 1968," Sozialistische Hefte 5 (1968): 309-10; reprinted in Otto, APO, 275.

43 Peter Knorr, "Warum nicht gleich KZs? Auf Wiedersehen in Dachau," Pardon 8, no. 2 (Feb. 1969): 36-9.

44 "Gedenken durch Diskussion: Veranstaltung des Bayerischen Jugendrings im ehemaligen KZ Dachau," Süddeutsche Zeitung, Oct. 30, 1969; A.Z., "Dachau - nicht nur zum Gedenken: Bayerische Jugend im ehemaligen KZ Dachau," Tat, Nov. 15, 1969.

45 In 1969, the number of school groups visiting the Dachau museum nearly doubled, from 471 to 911. In the early 1970s, that number climbed to over a thousand groups per year, and by the end of the decade it had surpassed five thousand. See Harold Marcuse, "Nazi Crimes and Identity in West Germany: Collective Memories of the Dachau Concentration Camp, 1945-1990," Ph.D. diss., University of Michigan, 1992, 399.

46 "Jungsozialisten zum Thema KZ," Dachauer Volksbote, Mar. 18, 1970, and Kurt Göttler, "Jusos kurbeln das Gespräch an: Dachau und das KZ im Kreuzverhör/Diskussionsabend der Jungsozialisten bringt zahlreiche Vorschläge," Münchner Merkur/Dachauer Nachrichten, Apr. 24, 1970.

47 See Der Spiegel 24 (14 Dec. 1970), cover story.

48 See the chapter on Ostpolitik by Gottfried Niedhart in this book.

49 See Jillian Becker, Hitler's Children: The Story of the Baader-Meinhof Terrorist Gang (Philadelphia, 1977), 17-18; see also Stefan Aust, The Baader-Meinhof Group (London, 1987).

50 Tom Segev, The Seventh Million: The Israelis and the Holocaust, trans. Haim Watzmann (New York, 1993), esp. 153-252; see also Chaim Schatzker, "Die Bedeutung des Holocaust für das Selbstverständnis der israelischen Gesellschaft," in Doron Kiesel and Ernst Karpf, eds., Identität und Erinnerung (Frankfurt ant Main, 1990), 154-62; and Yael Zerubavel, "The Death of Memory and the Memory of Death: Masada and the Holocaust as Historical Metaphors," Representations 45 (winter 1994): 72-100, esp. 85-6. For background, see Monty Noam Penkower, The Holocaust and Israel Reborn: From Catastrophe to Sovereignty (Urbana, Ill., 1994).

51 Inge Deutschkron, Bonn and Jerusalem: The Strange Coalition (New York, 1970); RoIf Vogel, ed., The German Path to Israel: A Documentation (London, 1969), 115-21, 159-76; Lily Gardner Feldman, The Special Relationship Between West Germany and Israel (Boston, 1964); and Segev, Seventh Million, 318-20.

52 See, e.g., Vera Elyashiv, Deutschland, kein Wintermärchen: Ein Israeli sieht die Bundesrepublik (Düsseldorf, 1964) and Anus Elon, In einem heimgesuchten Land: Reise eines israelischen Journalisten in beiden deutschen Staaten (Munich, 1966); English edition, Journey through a Haunted Land: The New Germany (New York, 1967).

53 Segev, Seventh Million, 323-4; Akiva Deutsch, The Eichmann Trial in the Eyes of Israeli Youngsters: Opinions, Attitudes and Impact (Ramat-Gan, 1974).

54 Der Spiegel 21, no. 23 (May 29, 1967), 121, 125.

55 Quoted in Kibbutz Siach Lochamim, ed., The Seventh Day (London, 1970), 164.

56 Uri Ramon, "The Conuiousness of the Holocaust During the Six-Day War" (19669), quoted in Segev, Seventh Million, 392.

57 "Die Regenschirme sind ausverkauft," Der Spiegel 2l, no. 24 (July 5, 1967): 112.

58 Kibbutz Siach Lochamim, Seventh Day, 163-4. See also the entire discussion, entitled "I Knew That  We Must Not Forget," 163-75.

59 Vogel, German Path, 304-15.

60 Der Spiegel 21, no. 27 (July 26, 1967): 69.

61 Lucy Dawidowicz, 'American Public Opinion," American Jewish Yearbook 69 (1968): 198-229.

62 Isaac Deutscher, "On the Arab-Israeli War," New Left Review, no. 44 (July-Aug. 1967), 30-45. reprinted in Isaac Deutcher, The Non-Jewish Jew and Other Essays, ed. Tamara Deutscher (London, 1968), 126-52, esp. 137, 141-2, 147-8.

63 Segev, Seventh Million, 225-6, 396-404.

64 See Richard B. Parker, The Six-Day War: A Retrospective (Gainesville, Fla., 1996) based on discussions among Israeli, Arab, American and Russian policymakersand historians held between June 3-5, 1992 in Rosslyn, Virginia.

65 See Tony Smith, America's Mission: The United States and the Worldwide Struggle for Democracy in the Twentieth Century (Princeton, NJ., 1994).

66 For the role of the Holocaust in contemporary American images of Germany, see Henry Cord Meyer, Five Images of Germany: Half a Century of Ameriran Views on German History (Washington, D.C., 1960); Klaus Epstein, "Das Deutschlandbild der Amerikaner," in Hermann Ziock, ed., Sind die Deutschen wirklich so? Meinungen aus Europa, Asien, Afrika and Amerika (Herrenalb/Schwarzwald, 1965), 181-211; Norbert Muhlen, "The U.S. Image of Germany, 1962, as Reflected in American Books," Modern Age 6 (1961-2): 418-27; Gavriel Rosenfeld, "The Reception of William Shirer's Rise and Fall of theThird Reich in the United States and West Germany, 1960-1962," Journal of Contemporary History 29 (1994): 95-128.

67 See American Jewish Committee, ed., The Eichmann Case in the American Press (New York, 1962), and Pierre Papadatos, The Eichmann Trial (New York, 1964). Contrary to prevailing opinion, the Holocaust was a subject of popular TV shows in the 1950s. See Jeffrey Shandler, "This Is Your Life, Hanna Bloch-Kohner: Die Geschichte einer Auschwitz-Überlebenden im frühen amerikanischen Fernsehen," in Fritz Bauer Institut, ed., Auschwitz: Geschichte, Rezeption, Wirkung (Frankfurt am Main, 1996), 371-405.

68 Earlier works on the Holocaust, such as Léon Poliakov, Harvest of Hate (Syracuse, N.Y., 1954) and Gerald Reitlinger, The Final Solution: The Attempt to Exterminate the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945 (New York, 1953), lacked the archival detail of Hilberg's book.

69 Yuen Foong Khong, Analogies at War: Korea, Munich, Dien Bien Phu, and the Vietnam Decisions of 1965 (Princeton, NJ., 1992), 176-90.

70 Gar Alperovitz, Atomic Diplomacy (New York, 1965, 1967).

71 Arthur Morse, While Six Million Died (New York, 1968); David Wyman, Paper Walls and the Refugee Crisis, 1939-1941 (Amherst, Mass., 1968); and Sheldon Spear, "The U.S. and the Persecution of the Jews in Germany, 1933-1939," Jewish Social Studies 30 (Oct. 1968). U.S. President Jimmy Carter was influenced by Morse's book. See Edward Linenthal, Preserving Memory: The Struggle to Create
America's Holocaust Museum (New York, 1995), 19.

72 Stanley Milgram, Obedience (film: New York University, 1965; videotape: Pennsylvania State University, 1969); Stanley Migram, Obedience to Authority (New York, 1974). On the new image of West Germany's governing elites compare Lewis Edinger's more positive assessment in "Post-totalitarian Leadership Elites to the German Federal Republic," American Political Science Review 22 (Mar. 1969): 58-82, with his 1961 article cited in note 17.

73 In a widely used textbook, Alan Brinkley wrote, "No single event did name to undermine support in the United States for the war;" in Richard N. Current et al., American History: A Survey, 7th ed.  vol. 2 (New York, 1987), 880.

74 Michael Bilton and Kevin Still, Four Hours in My Lai (New York, 1992), 28.

75 Michael Terry in a Nov. 20, 1969, interview with Seymour Hersh, quoted in Bilton and Sim,  Four Hours, 254.

76 Quoted in Bilton and Still, Four Hours, 363. An article in Time, Dec. 5, 1969, 30, citing the Soviet paper Trud, made the same comparison. The inhabitants of the village of Oradour were massacred and the village destroyed by a retreating SS Division in June 1944.

77 Lilienthal, Preserving Memory, 9; see also Dawidowicz, "American Public Opinion," 225-9.

78 Nora Levin, The Holocaust: The Destruction of European Jewry, 1933-1945 (New York, 1968) and Judah Pilch, ed., The Jewish Catastrophe in Europe (New York, 1968). Also compare Emil Fackheim's collection of essays. Quest for Past and Future: Essays in Jewish Theology (Bloomington, Ind., 1968), which contains only one brief reference to the Holocaust, with his next major publication, To Mend the World: Foundations of Future Jewish Thought (New York, 1982), in which the Holocaust plays the central role.

79 Peter Gay, "Introduction," to Karl Dietrich Bracher, The German Dictatorship: The Origins, Structure, and Effects of National Socialism, trans. Jean Steinberg (New York, 1982), vii.

80 Segev, Seventh Million, 397, mentions the use of Holocaust imagery by recent immigrants to Israel as well.