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The Holocaust, the legacy of 1789 and the birth of international human rights law: revisiting the foundation myth

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This study revisits the place of the Holocaust and the French revolutionary tradition in the birth of international human rights law, with particular reference to the genesis of the Universal Declaration and European Convention. It argues against conceptualizing the drafting of the Universal Declaration as an exceptional moment of Holocaust remembrance in the immediate aftermath of the war, positing instead that the framers' silence on the Jewish identity of the victims of Nazi genocidal acts functioned as an instrument of consensus politics. The article also examines how figures on the French far right practiced their own form of consensus politics by recasting their counterrevolutionary corporatist agenda in the idiom of human rights.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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