By Omer Bartov
Mirrors of Destruction examines the connection among overall conflict, state-organized genocide, and the emergence of contemporary identification. right here, Omer Bartov demonstrates that during the 20th century there were intimate hyperlinks among army clash, mass homicide of civilian populations, and the definition and categorization of teams and members. those connections have been such a lot sincerely manifested within the Holocaust, because the Nazis tried to exterminate eu Jewry below disguise of a brutal struggle and with the said objective of constructing a racially natural Aryan inhabitants and Germanic empire. The Holocaust, even though, can in simple terms be understood in the context of the century's predilection for employing mammoth and systematic equipment of destruction to solve conflicts over id. to supply the context for the "Final Solution," Bartov examines the altering relationships among Jews and non-Jews in France and Germany from the outbreak of worldwide warfare I to the current. instead of providing a finished heritage, or a story from a unmarried standpoint, Bartov perspectives the previous century via 4 interrelated prisms. He starts off with an research of the glorification of struggle and violence, from its sleek beginning within the trenches of worldwide conflict I to its scary end result within the presentation of genocide through the SS as a wonderful project. He then examines the pacifist response in interwar France to teach the way it contributed to a weather of collaboration with dictatorship and mass homicide. The e-book is going directly to argue that a lot of the discourse on id through the century has needed to do with making a choice on and taking away society's "elusive enemies" or "enemies from within." Bartov concludes with an research of contemporary apocalyptic visions, displaying how they've got either inspired mass destructions and opened a manner for the reconstruction of person and collective identifies after a disaster. Written with verve, Mirrors of Destruction is wealthy in interpretations and theoretical instruments and offers a brand new framework for realizing a critical trait of contemporary historical past.
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Additional resources for Mirrors of Destruction: War, Genocide, and Modern Identity
38 If World War I had replaced the old notion of chivalry with the sustained industrial killing of nameless soldiers, Nazi Germany invented the glorification of systematic industrial killing of civilians. By now what bound the soldiers together more than their Kampfgemeinschaft and its extension in an ostensible Volksgemeinschaft, was their awareness of belonging to a community of murder, attested to implicitly and explicitly both by the leadership of the Reich and by many of its citizens and soldiers.
On one level, this "battle community" was constituted only of one's direct comrades in the unit; but on a more abstract level, it included all those multitudes of men who had shared the same frontline experiences and came to see the world, and their role in it, through the prism of struggle, sacrifice, and destruction. Furthermore, the Kampfgemeinschaft soon came to be defined in a manner that excluded from it those veterans who embraced different political views or were not considered "truly" German.
While FIELDS OF GLORY 29 the army tried to justify its actions also with conventional arguments, citing security concerns, partisan activity, and civilian resistance, one is struck by the extent to which soldiers expressed pride and satisfaction in finally being able to destroy their enemies, be they soldiers, prisoners, civilians, or, provoking the greatest glee, Jewish men, women, and children. It was at this point that massacre and glory became synonymous. 37 In the case of the SS, the equivalence of genocide and glory was the very core of its identity.
Mirrors of Destruction: War, Genocide, and Modern Identity by Omer Bartov