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German 3252, Lecture 2 Notes

by: Grace Campbell

German 3252, Lecture 2 Notes German 3252

Marketplace > Ohio State University > German > German 3252 > German 3252 Lecture 2 Notes
Grace Campbell
GPA 3.687

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These notes cover lecture about Timothy Snyder's writings and Claude Lanzmann's film, Shoah. Lecture on 8/30/16
The Holocaust in German Literature and Film
Paul Reitter
Class Notes
German, Literature, Film
25 ?




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Grace Campbell on Friday September 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to German 3252 at Ohio State University taught by Paul Reitter in Summer 2016. Since its upload, it has received 40 views. For similar materials see The Holocaust in German Literature and Film in German at Ohio State University.


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Date Created: 09/02/16
Lecture:  Snyder  and  Lanzmann   8/30/16     1.    Timothy  Snyder’s  arguments  against  ideas  about  the  Holocaust       1. Argues  against  the  heavy  identification  of  the  Holocaust  with  the  camps,  in  particular   Auschwitz   a. Auschwitz  was  just  one  experience,  it  was  a  labor  camp,  and  was  very  different  from   the  other  death  camps  that  had  almost  no  survivors   b. Victims  were  killed  more  often  by  bullets  than  by  gas  chambers   2. Against  understanding  the  Holocaust  by  "The  Functionalist  Approach"   a. Approach  holds  that  the  Nazis  didn’t  really  have  a  plan,  they  thought  they  would   quickly  win  the  war  and  have  all  of  this  land  that  they  could  send  the  Jews  to.     b. The  final  solution  developed  in  response  to  the  failure  of  the  German  Army  of   conquer  all  of  the  space  that  they  thought  they  would,  in  response  to  having  to   maintain  the  ghettos  of  large  Jewish  populations.     i.   Mass  shootings  at  first  to  try  and  shrink  the  population  they  have  to  watch   over,  but  there  were  too  many  people,  so  gassing  began  and  the  camps   ii.   There  was  no  master  plan  before  the  Holocaust  began   c. The  approach  more  dominated  by  scholars  and  academics           2.  Crucial  factors  in  Snyder’s  arguments  about  the  Holocaust       •   Hitler  had  a  thought  out,  "rational"  plan  before  the  Holocaust  began   •   Hitler  wanted  to  depopulate  the  area  of  non-­‐Germans  where  there  was  fertile   farmland…food  security   •   Hitler  was  obsessed  with  space  and  race       3.   Radicalness  of  Snyder’s  arguments       •   That  Hitler  had  a  rational  plan  that  he  had  always  planned  on  putting  into  action   •   Indirectly  says  that  maybe  we  shouldn’t  even  be  looking  at  the  Holocaust  as  a  massive   murder  of  the  Jews,  but  as  a  mass  murder  of  Europe     o   Reconceptualizing  the  Holocaust           4.   Why  make  a  9.5  hour-­‐long  documentary  about  the  Holocaust  without  music  or   historical  footage?       •   The  director  wanted  to  know  everything,  he  wanted  to  know  how  the  barbers  cut  the   hair,  how  long  it  took  them,  how  many  times,  ect…   •   There  are  so  many  different  personal  accounts;  everyone's  experience  was  different  and   there  were  more  people  who  experienced  the  Holocaust  first  hand  than  just  the  victims   •   Purism-­‐  he  wants  you  to  focus  as  much  as  possible  on  the  testimonies   o   Music  and  images  can  be  distracting   o   Images  of  the  Holocaust  can  be  misleading-­‐  uniform;  similar  pictures  of  victims   dressed  the  same,  standing  in  a  row,  all  doing  the  same  thing,  ect..   •   Lets  us  experience  emotions  on  our  own  without  experiencing  emotions  that  we  are   "directed"  to  have               5.    Why  might  someone  have  done  this  in  the  early  1980s?         •   Director  finally  gained  enough  resources  to  make  film?   •   Is  a  counter  act  to  the  NBC  series  Holocaust  (came  out  in  the  70s),  which  Lanzmann   believed  gave  a  very  partial,  sentimental  view     o   Show  had  awkward,  obvious  symbols;  dramatic  music;  poor  acting   o   turned         6.    Claude  Lanzmann’s  film  Shoah         •   Controversial   •   It’s  a  sensitive  thing  for  people  to  recall   •   This  tactic  can  be  brutal,  invasive   •   Lanzmann  pushes  people  to  continue  on  when  they  get  worked  up  or  want  to  stop   •   Psychological  effects  for  the  speakers  after  giving  their  testimonies,  brings  back  painful   memories       •   "Shoah"  is  an  alternate  name  for  "Holocaust",  some  people  find  it  more  preferable   because  "Holocaust"  literal  meaning  is  about  burning  and  people  don’t  want  it  related  to   a  ritual  burning               7.  Abraham  Bomba’s  testimony  in  the  film,  Shoah       •   Psychologically  surprising     •   Is  a  fairly  rare  testimony,  someone  who  worked  in  the  gas  chambers     o   Was  a  barber   •   Told  of  how  much  the  workers  knew     •   Says  that  if  they  (him  and  the  other  barbers)  told  the  people  that  they  were  about  to  die,   they  would  still  die  and  he  would  also  die,  so  what  would  be  the  point?   •   Says  that  the  Germans  needed  their  hair,  and  he  was  just  doing  his  job  by  getting  it  for   them   o   Told  himself  he  was  just  doing  his  job  and  nothing  more   o   Psychologically  helped  him  rationalize  what  he  was  doing  


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