Perpetrator Testimony and Historiography: The Case of Dieter Wisliceny and the Decision-Making Process on the “Final Solution”

Dan Michman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Historians, especially those of contemporary history, have debated the value of testimonies for the reconstruction of a historical picture. In Holocaust research, “testimonies” are usually understood as “survivor testimonies”; because of the traumatic character of the persecutions, many historians, especially in the field of so-called “perpetrator research,” have been reluctant to use them. The late Eberhard Jäckel wrote in 1984 that many died before they could be interrogated, but “even those who were ready to talk were often not questioned precisely enough, for their interrogators were not interested in the kinds of details that historians would want to clarify.” This article examines Dieter Wisliceny’s written testimony from November 1946 and shows that, even though not asked to do so, he provided deep historical insights regarding the psychological atmosphere in which the Final Solution of the Jewish Question emerged, which was soaked with an apocalyptic antisemitic imagery, and regarding the timeline of the development of this program.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)15-32
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Contemporary Antisemitism
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018

Keywords

  • 1911-1948 -- Wisliceny
  • Dieter
  • Holocaust
  • Jewish (1939-1945) -- Historiography
  • Jewish (1939-1945) -- Personal narratives
  • Holocaust survivors

RAMBI Publications

  • RAMBI Publications
  • Wisliceny, Dieter -- 1911-1948
  • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Historiography
  • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Personal narratives
  • Holocaust survivors

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