Reparations for Nazi Victims in Postwar Europe
Reparations of Nazi Victims in Postwar Europe traces reparations back to their origins in the final years of the Second World War, when victims of Nazi persecution for the first time articulated demands for indemnification en masse. Simultaneous appearance of claims in New York, London, Paris and Tel Aviv exemplified the birth of a new standard in political morality. Across Europe, the demand for compensation to individuals who suffered severe harm gained momentum. Despite vast differences in their experiences of mass victimisation, post-war societies developed similar patterns in addressing victims' claims. Regula Ludi chronicles the history of reparations from a comparative and trans-national perspective. This book explores the significance of reparations as a means to provide victims with a language to express their unspeakable suffering in a politically meaningful way.
- Electronic book text
- 11 Sep 2012
- CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
- Cambridge, United Kingdom
Table of contents
1. Introduction; 2. War's end and blueprints for a new world order; 3. France: the dialectics of suffering and sacrifice; 4. Germany: Hitler's many victims and the survivors of Nazi persecution; 5. Switzerland: neutralizing the past; Conclusion: 6. Talking about victimization: a European model.
'Reparations for Nazi Victims in Postwar Europe is an exceptionally thorough analysis of reparation and compensation policies on behalf of victims of Nazism in Western Europe between 1945 and 1960. Based on extraordinary research, the book traces the roots of our contemporary reparation and indemnification regime and unveils the birth of a new paradigm in international morality. Ludi offers a magisterial analysis of crucial policy debates pertaining to collective memory and guilt, visions of justice, and the reaffirmation of state legitimacy through the reintegration (and exclusion) of various categories of victims.' G. Daniel Cohen, Rice University 'In comparing the well-known German case with the less-well-known cases of France and Switzerland, Regula Ludi convincingly argues that the emergence of the concept of reparations after World War II must not be reduced to the history of 'Wiedergutmachung'. Her book shows how the search for redress for Nazi victims resulted in the stunning evolution of the survivor as a dominant social figure of today's world.' Norbert Frei, University of Jena 'Since the end of the Second World War, and particularly in recent decades, the world has seen increasing calls for the rectification of historic wrongs to individuals, people who were previously neglected and even disparaged in postconflict societies. Regula Ludi's splendid investigation of how this commitment emerged in the post-Nazi era is quite simply the best work we have on this important subject. Hers is a sophisticated, penetrating study that will define our understanding of this transformation for years to come.' Michael R. Marrus, Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor Emeritus of Holocaust Studies, University of Toronto 'An impressive study that rearranges existing literature in a thought-provoking manner and that also offers numerous new empirical insights. In many respects, this book is highly stimulating ... Ludi has opened new paths into a complicated historical process, and she has proved that it will be worthwhile to go further.' H-Review Digest 'Ludi's work raises some significant questions on how post-war European states dealt with the aftermath of the Second World War.' Christian Goeschel, Journal of Continuity and Change
About Regula Ludi
Regula Ludi received her doctorate from the University of Bern in 1997 and teaches at the University of Zurich. She held fellowships at the Minda de Gunzburg Center of European Studies, Harvard University, at the Center for European and Eurasian Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and at the Institut d'Histoire du Temps Present (CNRS) in Paris.