Where Memory Leads

Where Memory Leads

My Life

Book - 2016
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Forty years after his acclaimed, poignant first memoir, Friedlonder returns with WHEN MEMORY COMES- THE LATER YEARS, bridging the gap between the ordeals of his childhood and his present-day towering reputation in the field of Holocaust studies. After abandoning his youthful conversion to Catholicism, he rediscovers his Jewish roots as a teenager and builds a new life in Israeli politics. Friedlonder's initial loyalty to Israel turns into a lifelong fascination with Jewish life and history. He struggles to process the ubiquitous effects of European anti-Semitism while searching for a more measured approach to the Zionism that surrounds him. Friedlonder goes on to spend his adulthood shuttling between Israel, Europe, and the United States, armed with his talent for language and an expansive intellect. His prestige inevitably throws him up against other intellectual heavyweights. In his early years in Israel, he rubs shoulders with the architects of the fledgling state and brilliant minds such as Gershom Scholem and Carlo Ginzburg, among others. Most importantly, this memoir led Friedlonder to reflect on the wrenching events that induced him to devote sixteen years of his life to writing his Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, The Years of Extermination- Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945 .
Publisher: ©2016
New York : Other Press, [2016]
ISBN: 9781590518090
1590518098
Branch Call Number: 940.5318092 FRIED
Characteristics: ix, 283 pages

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r
rozmaril
Apr 23, 2017

The book is valuable as it lends understanding of the German perspective on the Holocaust after the war and in the 1980s. Germans, and here we mean leading intellectuals, tried to adopt a view of unintentional causes of the Holocaust : it happened because the fault lied with German insitutions, not people, which of course is not true. Germans feared the regime but we're also indifferent at best towards the fate of out groups such as Jews, more or less despised.
The problem with the author is that he is a rabid leftist, and his criticism of Israel is unbridled and unreasonable. Palestinians do not want peace (they were offered peace for territories by Barak and flatly rejected it). Their goal is to drive Jews off to the sea, they do not recognise the state of Israel as such. The author mentions this fact but stays blind to it in his tirades against Israel.

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