Reply To: Comparing Pearl and Krug


I’m also interested in the difference of perspectives between the authors and see it as related to their positions as 2nd generation vs. 3rd generation. Although the Holocaust is personal for both authors, their historical relationship to it is strikingly different. Characteristic of 2nd generation accounts who face the silence of parents and grew up before the growth of Holocaust studies in the 1990s and 2000s, Perl confronts the Holocaust in the 1990s, in a middle point in her career. Her early life was spent in the years immediately after the Holocaust when the US and the world was wrestling with how much to say, teach, discuss. Her relationship with the Holocaust seems more shaped by her personal experiences informing historical inquiry. Krug is 3rd generation (from the perpetrator’s) and wrestling with the Holocaust in the 21st century – when Holocaust education is direct and pervasive, especially in Germany. The post-Cold War Germany she grew up in had decades of experience actively confronting its Nazi past and translating that confrontation into robust education. Krug’s journey strikes me as beginning with academic-historical knowledge that than causes her to shape her personal inquiry and journey. As I’ve written before, this seems very characteristic what happens through generations as history becomes memory, and makes me wonder – what will the 4th generation say and ask, when there is no one left living to ask? Where will their journey’s take them?