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Collective Memory, International Law, and Restorative Social Processes After Conflagration: The Holocaust.

Gallant, Mary J.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2010) International Criminal Justice Review. 20(3):265-279.

ollective memory after war, atrocity, and genocide may continue to bind surviving generations in a vortex of violence because remembrance of the cruelty is so vivid. Yet, collective memory as it was conceptualized originally is associated with constructive social change as society adjusts to a variety of kinds of forces. The Holocaust (1933—1945) as a model of genocide represents both an immense human tragedy and what happens at a breakpoint in the values sustaining society and collective memory. Holocaust survivor generations in Israel and Germany or elsewhere, however, have not succumbed to a cycle of vengeance after genocide and atrocity. International law may have influenced this outcome. It has played a major role in addressing human rights abuse and good governance of peoples and trade since 1945. Looking at the lived experience of atrocity and the importance of social processes that restore lives and community in the aftermath of conflagration, this article explores the interplay between collective memory and international law associated with World War II and the Holocaust. (author’s abstract)


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