Multidirectional Memory and the Universalization of the Holocaust
Marguerite Duras's “Les Deux Ghettos” employs an aesthetic of juxtaposition: taking the form of two interconnected interviews, it brings together memory of the Holocaust and recent developments in the ongoing struggle between France and the Algerian independence movement, the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN). Duras's article approaches the massacre in roundabout fashion, through a historical analogy between Nazi policy and the context of Fifth Republic France. His article might be said to illustrate one of the central arguments of Jeffrey Alexander's chapter. Sometime around 1961, the Nazi genocide of European Jews went from being perceived as a terrible wartime atrocity with limited implications to being an event uniquely suited to illuminating historical evil wherever it cropped up. Thus, Alexander would most likely see in “Les Deux Ghettos” an exemplification of moral universality.
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