Holocaust dilemmas

29th June 2001 at 01:00
THE HOLOCAUST: Survival and Resistance. By Pat Levy. THE HOLOCAUST: After the Holocaust. By Sean Sheehan. pound;11.99 each. Hodder Wayland Available from TES Direct pound;10.99 each.

These books conclude Wayland's excellent Holocaust series, which began with Causes and The Death Camps (reviewed in TES Friday magazine January 12, 2001). Survival and Resistance covers such well-known episodes as the breakout from Sobibor and the rising in the Warsaw ghetto, and also gives welcome prominence to less well-known Jewish partisan groups, such as the Bielski Otriad in Russia.

There were real dilemmas here: German reprisals were so savage that many Jews regarded resistance as tantamount to treason. Survival itself was a form of resistance, as was keeping a diary, or even burying human teeth among the ashes of a death camp crematorium in the hope that one day they would be found. Oskar Schindler features both here and, in his Hollywood persona, in After the Holocaust, which also examines the question of the media's role in what has been called the "holocaust industry".

The significance of both the Eichmann and the Irving trials is well brought out, and the book does not flinch from uncomfortable parallels with the later history of Israel and the Palestinians.

The authors' frankness in confronting such a wide range of difficult issues within a consistently accessible writing style is impressive. This series is one of the best treatments of this important and difficult topic available to schools.

Sean Lang Se n Lang is head of history at Hills Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now