The Allegory of Holocaust: The Rise of Thana Capitalism

The Allegory of Holocaust: The Rise of Thana Capitalism

Maximiliano Emanuel Korstanje (University of Palermo, Argentina)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2391-8.ch010
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The current bloody conflict between Israelis and Palestine in Middle East has widely approached by social scientists and humanists as a moral campaign to impose the human dignity. Although in some respect, literature would play a leading role in narrowing both sides, the fact is that in digital times Holocaust is far from being a closed issue. As a platform towards victimization or political oppression, Holocaust still remains in the heart of West as well as the negative effects of depersonalizing subject identities. The nature of any genocide is associated to the power of Gods to select who lives or not, in the same way, Noah abode the decision of God to destroy a world which unfits with his desires. This chapter explores not only the ebbs and flows of Holocaust as a site of tourism and mediatized consumption, but as an allegory which reinforces the exclusionary logic of capitalism.
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The WWII end resulted in a moral disaster for Europeaness, which we considered by some voices as the most civilized culture. Only Europe, the US and Japan led the World to a complete devastation that costed 70 million lives. Henceforth, the concept of life and the duties of states to protect individual rights was reformulated (Keegan 2011). While allied troops advanced through Europe, the legacy of SS shocked a World indifferent to the human suffering. Although the hate developed by Germans against Jew community was historically explicit, Nazis expanded systematically a burocratic machine that fed from others’ lives (unter-mensch). Most likely, Adolf Eichmann Nazi criminal exiled in Argentina and hosted by the Mossad, seems to be the clear example how this machinery of evil worked. H. Arendt, one of the young students from Martin Heidegger was present in his trial in Jerusalem. She pivots an interesting analysis around the archetype of Eichmann who has demonized by the prosecutor. She adds that Eichmann was a mediocre employee whose sin only was associated to be complacent with their chiefs to gain further mobility within SS structure. To the radical evilness the Holocaust reminded, Eichmann represented the presence of a “banal evil” which resulted from the lack of critical thought during these terrible days in Europe (Arendt, 1963). Though she was widely criticized by her colleagues, what it remains evident is that the concept of evilness or wrong-doing can be culturally determined. The discussion initiated by Arendt still alive up to date. On the other hand, as we have criticized in earlier studies, she ignores the fact that any person (who is free of will) is responsible for its acts no matter than the mediate effects over others. It is not enough to kill other, for example in a transit accident, unless if I had previously the desire to kill. However, if I drove drunk I am ethically responsible to avoid temporarily my consciousness to cause a future accident. In the same way, Arendt’s argument on the lack of responsibility of Eichmann should be placed under the lens of scrutiny. Far from being innocent, Eichmann was a top-ranked SS officer, who voluntarily or not planned those trains that brought thousands of inmates towards death. Although he personally did not kill anybody, his lack of critical thought leads to be responsible of human rights violations (Korstanje, 2014c).

Without any doubt, Auschwitz-Birkenau as many other extermination camps shows the ethical limits of what humans can do. This traumatic event not only forged the spirit of Jews, but also facilitated things for the consolidation of Israel State in Middle East. If the example of Auschwitz represents the impossibility of God to protect his peoples, it was symbolically transformed in a sign of rebirth for Israelis. As Glucksmann observed, if Nazism was ultimately stopped it was not related to the threat for humankind, but because it defied the geopolitical interests of Western nations. In silence, during many years, European nation states did not take a direct intervention to prevent the genocide. Besides, not only Europe never faced the responsibility of its antisemitism, but pushed Israel to be re-founded beyond the continent, to be exact in Middle East triggering an internal conflict between Jews and already-established Arab states (Glucksmann 2005). Whatever the case may be, Auschwitz’s discourse enlarged the gap between victims and witnesses. Literature, cinema and many other cultural entertainment sources made from Holocaust the main commodity for their profits. Since this traumatic event was thematized into a plenty of products, the culture of capitalism accepted the pervasive core of Nazism into its main ideology, survival of the strongest.

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