Analysis Of The Aftermath Of The Holocaust By Andre Bernstein

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In the aftermath of the Holocaust, it is necessary to understand exactly what happened and who has absolute authority to explicate those experiences. According to Michael André Bernstein, “one of the most pervasive myths of our era . . . is the absolute authority given to first-person testimony.” He argues that it should not be widely held that survivors have “the most true, the most unmediated, the most trustworthy” testimonies or stories. However, I argue that Bernstein’s assertion of this myth not only has internal fallacies that call into question the validity of his argument, but also implies that survivors’ accounts of the Holocaust should not have absolute authority simply because of what they endured. Bernstein fails to recognize the contradictory and somewhat morally problematic nature of the …show more content…
In contrast, I see his statement as precisely why we should give survivors absolute authority and why the “myth” should be upheld. The fragmented accounts of survivors directly show how the Nazis accomplished their plot of keeping everyone ignorant. By looking at fragmented testimonies or stories we can understand more about the Holocaust, not less. If we try to take away their authority because of what was forced upon them, then we morally become no better than the Nazis who promised, “If any prisoners were to survive . . . no one would believe their account.” Therefore, Bernstein’s argument discounts survivors’ stories and allows the Nazis to “win” in this regard. In contrast, I argue that we

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