Historical writing that bears witness to a tragedy approaches the past with an interest much more urgent than historical curiosity or even political effect. The perceivable difference between an "objective 'prehistory of the present"' and "the subjective ... possession of history understood as the prehistory of the self," is so overwhelming, that it can rarely be overcome. These two observations, together and separately, when applied to Saul Friedlander, are at the basis for my claim that he was the "ideal type" to challenge Broszat's plea for historicization with his own version, avoiding the former's pitfalls. Among historian-thinkers of the Nazi era Friedlander is rather unique in that he was both, in "real time" and subsequendy, a subject of the tragedy of the Shoah, as well as a spectator of it; hence his ability to integrate an "objective 'prehistory of the present'" with a "history understood as the prehistory of the self."
|Original language||English GB|
|Number of pages||25|
|Journal||History and Memory|
|State||Published - 1997|