Foundational pasts: The Holocaust as historical understanding

Alon Confino

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Alon Confino seeks to rethink dominant interpretations of the Holocaust by examining it as a problem in cultural history. As the main research interests of Holocaust scholars are frequently covered terrain – the anti-Semitic ideological campaign, the machinery of killing, the brutal massacres during the war-Confino's research goes in a new direction. He analyzes the culture and sensibilities that made it possible for the Nazis and other Germans to imagine the making of a world without Jews. Confino seeks these insights from the ways historians interpreted another short, violent and foundational event in modern European history- the French Revolution. The comparison of the ways we understand the Holocaust with scholars' interpretations of the French Revolution allows Confino to question some of the basic assumptions of present-day historians concerning historical narration, explanation, and understanding.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages180
ISBN (Electronic)9781139031875
ISBN (Print)9780521516655
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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