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Drawing on documents of Hilberg’s gifted to the UVM Libraries upon his death, the article, “A Conscious Pariah: On Raul Hilberg,” reveals his complex and scholarly antagonistic relationship with Hannah Arendt, political theorist and author of Eichmann in Jerusalem, a book about the man responsible for implementing the Final Solution.
“As Hilberg read Arendt’s articles about Eichmann, he noticed a number of striking similarities to his own research (published in his book two years previously),” the article recounts. “He tallied them on an accounting spreadsheet stored in the accordion folder with the New Yorker issues (where Arendt’s writing on Eichmann was serialized). At the bottom of the spreadsheet he divided the instances into “cert.” and “prob.” and penciled hash marks next to each category.”
While Hilberg was vocally critical about the work of several Holocaust historians, “no one who wrote about the Holocaust nettled Hilberg more than Hannah Arendt,” the article notes. It goes on to reveal the deep contributions Hilberg made to his field, and the ways in which much of his work from The Destruction of the European Jews permeates Arendt’s writing.
Release Date: 04-14-2010
Author: Amanda Kenyon Waite
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