Remembering to Forget: Holocaust Memory through the Camera's Eye

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9780226979724: Remembering to Forget: Holocaust Memory through the Camera's Eye
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Barbie Zelizer reveals the unique significance of the photographs taken at the liberation of the concentration camps in Germany after World War II. She shows how the photographs have become the basis of our memory of the Holocaust and how they have affected our presentations and perceptions of contemporary history's subsequent atrocities. Impressive in its range and depth and illustrated with more than 60 photographs, Remembering to Forget is a history of contemporary photojournalism, a compelling chronicle of these unforgettable photographs, and a fascinating study of how collective memory is forged and changed.

"[A] fascinating study. . . . Here we have a completely fresh look at the emergence of photography as a major component of journalistic reporting in the course of the liberation of the camps by the Western Allies. . . . Well written and argued, superbly produced with more photographs of atrocity than most people would want to see in a lifetime, this is clearly an important book."—Omer Bartov, Times Literary Supplement

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Zelizer (Covering the Body: The Kennedy Assassination, the Media, and the Shaping of the Collective Memory, LJ 11/1/92), who writes regularly for the Nation, has produced an interesting study of the relationship between photojournalism, memories, and atrocities such as the Holocaust. Zelizer argues that photographs became the major part of the journalistic record during World War II, when the reality of the camps could not be conveyed entirely in words. That advance for contemporary photojournalism has created a collective memory of the Holocaust. In addition, Zelizer questions the images' role in representing the past historically and in remembering the past collectively. She also links Holocaust photographs to how people present and perceive present-day atrocities, which are measured against the German horrors and vice versa. She traces the waves of memory about the atrocities and how photographs have been used since the 1950s. Much has been written about the press and the Holocaust, but this is unique in its focus on the collective memory. Recommended for media, communications, and Holocaust collections.AMary F. Salony, West Virginia Northern Community Coll. Lib., Wheeling
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Of all the photographs recording the history of this century, none are as horrifying and shocking as those taken in 1945 of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. Zelizer addresses what she calls the mechanics of visual memory and historical record at their broadest level, and she explores how others, such as cultural critic Susan Sontag, have used those "atrocity photos" to link past and present. Among the questions Zelizer asks and answers are, How were those first images of the camps produced and presented? By whom and under what circumstances? How were they received and to what effect? When, why, how, and to what purposes were they co-opted into memory? And in what ways have they persisted as vehicles of collective memory? The author devotes a final chapter to the more recent atrocities in Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge, the genocidal actions against the Kurds of Iraq, the massacres in Rwanda and Burundi, and the killings in Bosnia and Algeria, as well as the role that photography played in those barbaric acts. George Cohen

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 1998. Hardback. Condition: New. 2nd ed. Language: English. Brand new Book. There is no more gruesome and tragic record in the history of the 20th century than the photographs taken at the liberation of the concentration camps in Germany after World War II. These images are seared into our collective memory as brutal evidence of the atrocity of war and the evil of which humanity is capable. But the horrific content of these images has somewhat obscured their status as historical documents. This text reveals the unique significance of the concentration camp photographs - how they have become the basis of our memory of the Holocaust and how they have affected our presentations and perceptions of contemporary history's subsequent atrocities. Prior to the Holocaust, news reporters primarily told their stories in words, using photographs almost as an afterthought. When the camps were liberated, however, journalists and reporters turned to photography to bear witness to the unspeakable and indescribable scenes of the dead and dying. Through this process, the text argues, photographs earned a new legitimacy as tools of reporting.The author shows how, since the end of the war, the use of "atrocity photos" has fallen into patterns - or waves of memory - determined by the different roles that the photos occupy in the public imagination. Most recently, for example, the images from Bosnia hark back to the Holocaust imagery, an echo that can actually dilute our response to what happened both then and now. Seller Inventory # BTE9780226979724

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