IMAGINARY TALES IN THE LAND OF THE PERPETRATORS
This article explores three recent works of fiction, all concerned with what I call “imaginary tales in the land of the perpetrators”. All the writers are women, albeit of varied backgrounds and nationalities. The earliest is Marcie Hershman (American, Tales of the Master Race, 1991), followed by Gila Lustiger (German‐Jewish, Die Bestandsaufnahme, 1995, published in English as The Inventory, 2001) and Rachel Seiffert (British, The Dark Room, 2001). Although only Lustiger is the child of a survivor, all may be counted in the ranks of the second, or even third generation, who strive, each in their way, to recreate the day‐to‐day workings of society in the lives of “ordinary folk” under the Third Reich, to pose once again that all‐consuming question: How could it have happened? Working at the intersection of history and fiction, fact and invention, imagination and memory, these novels may indicate a new and more risky trend in Holocaust literature away from the victims to the victimizers.
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