Monuments. There are monuments of the holocaust all over Germany. They are like crosses with the suffering Jesus allover the backroads of Quebec in the 1960’s. Mourn through the monuments and let them do the heavy lifting. We can’t really speak for the dead. A futile, imprecise exercise though that hasn’t stopped types like Elie Wiesel from trying. To preserve the integrity of memory, there must be some form of acknowledgment to very real limits of commemoration. All these symbols, especially one like Anne Frank, the epitome, they tend to limit the integrity of individualism.
These symbolic monuments then only delineate the parameters of memory, limiting it to the modern technological context, the rationalism that brought it forth:
Under Fascism, progress became regression through ideology. Nazism refused the modernity of the Enlightenment while embracing modern mechanisms to produce and promulgate ideology, expressed through film and radio, controlled by the government. Fascism always regresses into a mythic past, while using mechanical means to control the present. The concentration camps were the ultimate example of administered death and efficient extermination. Auschwitz was the ultimate expression of rational thinking. Power had become the ideology, which controlled technology. As a Holocaust survivor, Adorno was profoundly suspicious of the universal. As he wrote,
Identity and contradiction in thinking are welded to one another. The totality of the contradiction is nothing other than the untruth of the total identification, as it is manifested in the latter. Contradiction is non-identity under the bane [Bann] of the law, which also influences the non-identical.Read More:http://www.arthistoryunstuffed.com/tag/max-horkheimer/a
Ultimately, our memory is at the mercy of our ego. The difficulty , insurmountable of separating those individuals from ourselves and searching for other symbols on which purge our own rage and desire for revenge. And language will always mask the bitter reality of death, even a guttural prose style of Henry Miller remains a sugary, palatable highway to memory in juxtaposition to the unknowable bitterness, though there is a profound need for symbols to give form to the overwhelming trauma; graspable symbols if only fragmentary visions that provide a departure point in the full awareness that memory cannot create the past no matter how repressed we may think it is.
…Remembering is difficult and fraught with danger in post-war Germany. Adorno could foresee that the “working through the past” would lead to exactly where it ended up twenty years after his death, in the “Historians’ Controversy.” His worst fears were realized when apologists attempted to “normalize” the Holocaust and re-characterize it as part of larger historical patterns. As Yasmin Ibrahim pointed out in 2009 in Holocaust as the Visual Subject: The Problematics of Memory Making through Visual Culture, “The Holocaust is inextricably imprisoned through the dialectical discourses of universalism and particularism.” Read More:http://www.arthistoryunstuffed.com/tag/max-horkheimer/