| BOOK on GENOCIDE
The University Press of America (UPA) in Lanham,
Maryland, (www.univpress.com) published an edited volume of 17 articles that have appeared in
the pages of BRIDGES. Entitled The Genocidal Temptation: Auschwitz,
Hiroshima, Rwanda, and Beyond, this work provides an integrated
focus on the similarities, ramifications, and potential responses
to the Nazi killing programs, the American atomic bombings in
Japan, and the Tutsi massacres in Rwanda. The book is a compendium
of recent Genocide Studies scholarship. Please contact the University
Press of America at 1.800.462.6420 to place your order for this
That Auschwitz, Hiroshima, and Rwanda cast ominous shadows forward
into the future compels us to confront these horrific results
of the human head, heart, and hand. This is the first time that--in
one volume--compelling, integrated focus has been directed toward
the Nazi killing programs, American atomic bombings in Japan,
Tutsi massacres in Rwanda, Soviet genocide in Lithuania, and other
mass killing and repression programs.
While there are significant differences between these horrific
historical events, there are also basic similarities. For example,
there are very close links between modern warfare and genocide,
as well as the reality that under determinate conditions, even
mature democracies can succumb to the genocidal temptation. And
Auschwitz, Hiroshima, and Rwanda represent a total religious and
ethical inversion of meaning. One key lesson to be learned by
reflecting on Auschwitz and Hiroshima is the power of techno-bureaucratic
rationality to undermine our capacity for ethical reflection and
action, opening up the possibility of mass murder as a "rational
Bureaucratically and rationally planned industrial killing, the
utilization of modern science and technology in the production
of corpses, the transformation of mass murder into a "job,"
the reduction of human beings to objects to be administered or
disposed of by the state, and indeed, the very principle of reason
as purely instrumental and calculative are explored. Importantly,
appropriate albeit tentative responses and bases of hope in light
of mass human suffering and destruction are offered for consideration.
Fifteen scholars, many with world-class credentials in genocide
and Holocaust studies, contributed meaningful and current insights
from the domains of philosophy, theology, applied ethics, history,
and personal experience. This is the first time that compelling,
integrated focus has been directed toward the Nazi killing programs,
the American atomic bombings in Japan, and the Tutsi massacres
in Rwanda literally at the hands of the Rwandan Patriotic Front.
Advanced Praise for The Genocidal Temptation
Robert Frey makes a significant contribution by compiling the
reflections of key scholars who have thought long and hard about
the Holocaust and other genocides. While warning that the temptations
of genocide have not diminished with the twenty-first century's
arrival, they also help to show how those temptations may best
be resisted. In these provocative pages, anguish and hope mix
and mingle urgently.
John K. Roth
Edward J. Sexton Professor of Philosophy and Director, Center
for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights, Claremont
Far more than just another collection of "lest we forget"
essays, this volume of original, current perspectives on the Holocaust
and other genocides of the 20th and 21st centuries breaks important
new ground by focusing on "genocidal temptations" of
the present and future as well as the past.
By including the work of established scholars in philosophy and
theology along with history and psychology, the editor has successfully
organized an innovative, comprehensive analysis of the seductive
rationalizations leading to massive outbreaks of human destruction.
It could well be an essential life preserver as we face the threatening
uncertainties of the new millennium.
Dr. Leon Rappoport
Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Kansas State University and
co-author with George M. Kren of The Holocaust and the Crisis
of Human Behavior
By drawing on diverse disciplines and theories, Robert Frey's
collection of essays makes an important contribution to Holocaust
and Genocide history. Scholars will find particularly interesting
the contributions on neutralizing genocidal tendencies and those
dealing with trauma and memory in the wake of the Holocaust. The
essays on Hiroshima, too, will spark a needed discussion about
what constitutes genocide and the dangers of "comparative
Jonathan C. Friedman, Ph.D.
Director, Holocaust and Genocide Education Center
West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania
This unique collection of essays by renowned scholars from many
disciplines offers current reflections upon major incidents of
genocides that have plagued us in the 20th century. One of the
disturbing theses of this volume is the prediction that the “genocidal
temptation” might increase in the future in proportion to
our ever-expanding technological and bureaucratic power unless
we find ways and means to control this terrifying menace.
Dr. Viktoria Hertling, Professor & Director
Center for Holocaust, Genocide & Peace Studies
University of Nevada, Reno