There was not a single outrage perpetrated against the Jews by the Nazis that had not been committed against countless other equally innocent human beings even in modern times. This is not to minimize the importance of the Holocaust. Rather, it is to universalize its significance. It was in many ways an emblematic event, symbolizing the terrible human price that has been paid to build the modern world. I think Jewish writers like Ms. Gornick do the subject (and themselves) when they describe it as a unique and indescribable event. Much better to describe it in graphic detail—as has been done countless times, by Levi among others—and to emphasize its universal human significance. In my judgment, anyway.
Dec 4 2013 - 12:01pm