Reconsidering Jewish Rage after the Holocaust

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Book Chapter

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This reading of oral histories and memoirs reveals gender differences in how survivors defined perpetrators and in how they took revenge. Male survivors tended to view German men of military age as the primary perpetrators and would take revenge against them through beatings and/or killing. Female survivors readily included German women in the category of perpetrators and took revenge against them by shaving their hair and/or beating them. Survivor narratives demonstrate that Jewish rage was a real force in the immediate postwar period. Yet, over time, some of those who had engaged in revenge, who had believed that all Germans should suffer, came to revise their opinions. In 1983s Le cinquième fils/The Fifth Son, Wiesel reconciles these two perspectives.

Recommended Citation

Feinstein, M.M. (2020). Reconsidering Jewish Rage After the Holocaust. In: Aarons, V., Lassner, P. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Holocaust Literature and Culture. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-33428-4_40