The Holocaust in Recent Memory

Conflicts - Commemorations - Challenges

Today the Holocaust is acknowledged as a “break in civilization”, a watershed event in human history. This approach has evolved only since the 1980s – after 1945, in the era of European postwar myths (Tony Judt), the Holocaust was on the periphery of historical thinking, of scholarly and public interest.

This constellation is the starting point for the project “Learning from the Holocaust in Austria and the United States: interactions, similarities, differences”. The research interest focuses on the political, social, cultural and epistemological framework in which the Holocaust became the universal “lieu de mémoire” in the global history of civilization. What are the pre-conditions for this change in paradigm? Which transformations in narrative and cultural representation were necessary for the acknowledgment of the Holocaust as the negative point of reference for the values and norms of western Society?