#25 / Editorial

The potential to view the recognition of the singular nature of the Holocaust an obstacle to the recognition of colonial crimes is known. And it is by these means that the postcolonial movement over the course of three decades has teed up a contest of victims which often borders on Holocaust revisionism.

Dirk Moses’ recent article “Der Katechismsus der Deutschen” (“The German Catechism”) shows that this line of reasoning, once heterodox, is in the middle of becoming an orthodoxy. These ideas are no longer relegated to the margins of the university but instead are invited into the center of German public debate and have started to inform Germany’s own conception of Holocaust memory. Once the Holocaust is seen as one crime among many, then the exceptional place it occupies in history and memory can only be seen as a product of power relations, of which the logical beneficiaries are Jews and their supposed allies.

Saul Friedländer, the great historian of the Holocaust, wades into this debate in a piece published for the first time in English and French, and adapted from his initial German-language response to Dirk Moses. This is, of course, an issue at the heart of our concerns at K. [1]. Friedlander evaluates how a certain line of postcolonial theory allows the extermination of the Jews to be placed in a chronology with other crimes and forms of violence committed by Western powers. He decries how for too many the recognition of colonial atrocities, which indeed do deserve recognition, seems to necessitate the eclipse and occlusion of the Holocaust.

Holocaust memory remains a topic of great contention in Europe, one whose contours never cease shifting, and the dimensions of which are different from one country to the next. We publish this week the second and final part of Ewa Tartakowsky’s essay on a school visit to the Museum of Poles Saving Jews During the Second World War, in Markowa, Poland. Poland attempts through this sort of narrative to create an ethno-religious identity, in the mold of the ruling PiS party, which acknowledges the extermination of Polish Jews while absolving Poles of any responsibility for this crime.

The last piece published this week in K. is a short story. We escape from the present and head into the distant future, part of the space-time continuum still free from colonization. Revisiting Star Trek, the short story’s protagonist discovers a certain Moritz Benayoun, who stirs the main character to an unexpected Jewish-cosmic fantasia.

While anti-Semitism is rampant throughout the world, the Holocaust memory is increasingly interrogated in the name of post-colonial ideas. The latest attack is signed by the Australian historian Dirk Moses. The great historian of the Holocaust Saul Friedländer, in an article originally published in Die Zeit, counters: “‘Auschwitz’ was something completely different from the colonial atrocities of the West.

Last week, Ewa Tartakowsky told us about the conditions under which a school visit like the one to the “Museum of the Poles Who Saved Jews During the Second World War – Ulma family” in Markowa takes place today, in the era of the PiS, Poland’s right-wing nationalist governing party. Here is the second and final part of this brush withg a biased, ethno-religious account of the history of relations between non-Jewish Poles and Jews in Poland.

The doctor whom Picard had come to see to get checked out in order to be reinstated at the helm of a Starfleet ship, that old friend he had met more than half a century before aboard the Stargazer, was named Moritz Benayoun. “Benayoun?!” exclaimed Hayon. His astonishment was twofold. First, Star Trek suggested that, in less than four centuries, the Jews of the future would include space Sephardim. But above all, he was amazed that this Dr. Benayoun had the same name as he did. Or rather, the name that, more or less, he could have had.

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Thanks to the Paris office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation for their cooperation in the design of the magazine’s website.