Shoah – hävinneiden historia

Shoah – a history of losers

The article discusses Claude Lanzman's documentary film, Shoah, which is about the persecution of the Jews by the National Socialists. Shoah is approached from the point of view of Theodor W. Adorno's philosophy and the aesthetics of negativity. Lanzman's decision not to use black-and-white documentary material is discussed and it is shown that, in doing this, he vents the symbolic remembering of the Holocaust. Lanzman's way of describing the Holocaust from the point of vie of the present moment has an important effect on the way its historical remembering takes form. Shoah is interpreted as a document, which in its laconic expression, its treatment of the theme based on differences, and its angle of the present moment, manages to avoid the stereotypical treatment of the Holocaust, which strengthens racist thinking. The article analyses the differences between the points of view of different witnesses (the Poles, the village people, the SS men, ex-prisoners of the concentration camps) and the forms taken by "truth" from these different angles. The main idea is that, by means of the different points of view expressed by the witnesses, Shoah searches for the history of the Jews who died in the concentration camps, the history of the losers.

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