The Memory of Judgment (Paperback)
Making Law and History in the Trials of the Holocaust
Yale University Press, 9780300109849, 336pp.
Publication Date: May 15, 2005
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With insight Lawrence Douglas explores how prosecutors and jurors struggled to submit unprecedented crimes to legal judgment, and in so doing, to reconcile the interests of justice and pedagogy. Against the attacks of such critics as Hannah Arendt, Douglas defends the Nuremberg and Eichmann trials as imaginative, if flawed, responses to extreme crimes. By contrast, he shows how the Demjanjuk and Zundel trials turned into disasters of didactic legality, obfuscating the very history they were intended to illuminate.
In their successes and shortcomings, Douglas contends, these proceedings changed our understandings of both the Holocaust and the legal process—revealing the value and limits of the criminal trial as a didactic tool.