SAUL FRIEDLäNDER (Hebrew : שאול פרידלנדר; born
October 11, 1932) is an Israeli /American historian and currently a
professor emeritus of history at
* 1 Biography
* 2 Views
* 3 Honors and awards
* 4 Published works
* 5 See also
* 6 References
* 7 External links
Saul Friedländer was born in
Prague to a family of German-speaking
Jews . He grew up in France and experienced the German Occupation of
1940–1944 . From 1942 until 1946, Friedländer was hidden in a
Catholic boarding school in Montlucon, near Vichy. While in hiding, he
converted to Roman Catholicism and later began preparing for the
Catholic priesthood. His parents attempted to flee to
were arrested instead by Vichy French gendarmes, turned over to the
Germans and were gassed at the
Auschwitz concentration camp
Auschwitz concentration camp . Not
until 1946 did Friedländer learn the fate of his parents.
After 1946, Friedländer grew more consciously aware of his Jewish
identity and became a
Zionist . In 1948, Friedländer emigrated to
Israel on the
Irgun ship Altalena. After finishing high school, he
served in the Israeli Army. From 1953-55, he studied political science
in Paris. Later, Friedländer served as secretary to
Nachum Goldman ,
then President of the
Zionist Organization and the World Jewish
Congress . In 1959, he became an assistant to
Shimon Peres , then
vice-minister of defense. Late in the 1980s, Friedländer moved
politically further to the left and was active in the
Peace Now group.
In 1963, he received his PhD from the Graduate Institute of
International Studies in
Geneva , where he taught until 1988.
Friedländer taught at the
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at Tel
Aviv University . In 1969 he wrote a biography of
Kurt Gerstein .
Since 1988 he has been Professor of History at the University of
California , Los Angeles.
Nazism as the negation of all life, and as a type
of death cult. He has argued that the
Holocaust is such a horrific
event that its horror is almost impossible to put into normal
language. Friedländer sees the anti-semitism of the
Nazi Party as
unique in history, since he maintains that Nazi anti-semitism was
distinctive for being “redemptive anti-semitism”, namely a form of
anti-semitism that could explain all in the world and offer a form of
“redemption” for the anti-semitic.
Friedländer is an Intentionalist on the origins of the Holocaust
question. However, Friedländer rejects the extreme Intentionalist
Adolf Hitler had a master plan going back to the time when
Mein Kampf for the genocide of the Jewish people.
Friedländer, through his research on the Third Reich, has reached the
conclusion that there was no intention to exterminate the Jews of
Europe before 1941. Friedländer's position might best be deemed
In the 1980s, Friedländer engaged in a spirited debate with the West
Martin Broszat over his call for the
Nazi Germany . In Friedländer’s view, Nazi
Germany was not and cannot be seen as a normal period of history.
Friedländer argued that there were three dilemmas, and three problems
involved in the "historicization" of the Third Reich. The first
dilemma was that of historical periodization, and how long-term social
changes could be related to an understanding of the Nazi period.
Friedländer argued that focusing on long-term social changes such as
the growth of the welfare state from the Imperial to Weimar to the
Nazi eras to the present as Broszat suggested changed the focus on
historical research from the particular of the Nazi era to the general
long duration of 20th-century German history. Friedländer felt that
"relative relevance" of the growth of the welfare state under the
Third Reich, and its relationship to post-war developments would cause
historians to lose their attention to the genocidal politics of the
Nazi state. The second dilemma Friedländer felt that by treating the
Nazi period as a "normal" period of history, and by examining the
aspects of "normality" might run the danger of causing historians to
lose interest in the "criminality" of the Nazi era. This was
especially problematic for Friedländer because he contended that
aspects of "normality" and "criminality" very much overlapped in the
everyday life of Nazi Germany. The third dilemma involved what
Friedländer considered the vague definition of "historicization"
entailed, and it might allow historians to advance apologetic
arguments about National Socialism such as those Friedländer accused
Ernst Nolte and
Andreas Hillgruber of making. However, Friedländer
conceded that Broszat was not an apologist for
Nazi Germany like Nolte
and Hillgruber. Friedländer noted that though the concept of
"historicization" was highly awkward, partly because it opened the
door to the type of arguments that Nolte and Hillgruber advanced
Historikerstreit , Broszat's motives in calling for the
"historicization" were honourable.
The first problem for Friedländer was that the Nazi era was too
recent and fresh in the popular memory for historians to deal with it
as a "normal" period as for example 16th century France. The second
problem was the "differential relevance" of "historicization".
Friedländer argued that the study of the Nazi period was "global",
that is it belongs to everyone, and that focusing on everyday life was
a particular interest for German historians. Friedländer asserted
that for non-Germans, the history of Nazi ideology in practice,
especially in regards to war and genocide were vastly more important
than Alltagsgeschichte. The third problem for Friedländer was that
the Nazi period was so unique that it could not easily be fitted into
the long-range view of German history as advocated by Broszat.
Friedländer maintained that the essence of National Socialism was
that it "tried to determine who should and should not inhabit the
world", and the genocidal politics of the Nazi regime resisted any
attempt to integrate it as part of the "normal" development of the
modern world. The debates between Broszat and Friedländer were
conducted through a series of letters between 1987 until Broszat's
death in 1989. In 1990, the Broszat-Friedländer correspondences were
translated into English, and published in the book Reworking the Past:
Hitler, The Holocaust, and the Historians' Debate edited by Peter
Friedländer’s 1997 book,
Nazi Germany and the Jews was written as
a reply to Broszat’s work. The second volume, The Years of
Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945 appeared in 2007.
Friedländer’s book is
Alltagsgeschichte (history of everyday life),
not of “Aryan” Germans nor of the Jewish community, but rather an
Alltagsgeschichte of the persecution of the Jewish community.
HONORS AND AWARDS
* In 1981, Friedländer was awarded the Andreas Gryphius Award for
Literature (Düsseldorf) for his memoir When Memory Comes, after its
publication in German.
* In 1983, he was awarded the
Israel Prize for history.
* Friedländer was awarded the
Geschwister-Scholl-Preis in 1998 for
his work, Das Dritte Reich und die Juden.
* MacArthur Fellowship (1999)
* In 1997, he was awarded the National Jewish Book Award (USA) for
Nazi Germany and the Jews: The Years of Persecution.
* In 1998, he was awarded the Shazar Prize of the Israeli Historical
Association and the
Geschwister-Scholl-Preis (Munich) for Nazi Germany
and the Jews: The Years of Persecution, after its translation into
* In 2000, Friedländer was elected Fellow of the American Academy
of Arts and Sciences .
* In 2007, he was awarded the
Peace Prize of the German Book Trade .
* For his book The Years of Extermination:
Nazi Germany and the
Jews, 1939-1945 , Friedländer was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for
General Non-Fiction , as well as the 2007
Leipzig Book Fair Prize for
* Friedländer was awarded the Bruno Kreisky Prize for Life Work by
the Karl Renner Institut (Vienna) in 2008.
* In 2009, he received the Award for Scholarly Distinction from the
Historical Association .
* In April 2012, he gave the First “Humanitas” Lecture in
Historiography, Trinity College, Oxford: “Trends in the
Historiography of the Holocaust.”
* In 2014, he received the
Dan David Prize
Dan David Prize from Tel Aviv University
and Dan David Foundation (Tel Aviv) and the Edgar de Picciotto
International Prize from the Graduate Institute of International and
Development Studies (Geneva) for lifetime achievement.
* Pius XII and the Third Reich: A Documentation, New York : Knopf,
1966. Translated by Charles Fullman, from the original Pie XII et le
IIIe Reich, Documents, Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1964.
* Prelude to downfall: Hitler and the United States 1939-1941,
London, Chatto & Windus, 1967.
* Kurt Gerstein: The Ambiguity of Good, New York : Knopf, 1969.
* Reflexions sur l’Avenir d’Israel, Seuil, Paris, 1969.
* L'Antisémitisme nazi: histoire d'une psychose collective, Paris :
Editions du Seuil, 1974.
* Arabs & Israelis: a Dialogue Moderated by Jean Lacouture, New York
: Holmes & Meier Publishers, 1975.
* Some aspects of the historical significance of the Holocaust,
Jerusalem : Institute of Contemporary Jewry, Hebrew University of
Jerusalem, 1977 (co-written with Mahmoud Hussein).
* History and Psychoanalysis: an Inquiry Into the Possibilities and
Limits of Psychohistory, New York : Holmes & Meier, 1978.
* When Memory Comes, New York : Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1979.
(Noonday Press, Reissue edition 1991, ISBN 0-374-52272-3 ).
* Reflections of Nazism: an essay on Kitsch and death, New York :
Harper & Row, 1984.
* Visions of apocalypse: end or rebirth?, New York : Holmes ">
* ^ Friedlaender, Saul (1979). When Memory Comes. New York: Farrar,
Straus and Giroux. pp. 93 and 110. ISBN 0-374-52272-3 .
* ^ A B C D Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship London: Edward
Arnold, 2000 page 223.
* ^ A B C D E Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship London: Edward
Arnold, 2000 page 224.
* ^ A B C D Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship London: Edward
Arnold, 2000 page 225.
* ^ A B Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship London: Edward Arnold,
2000 page 226.
* ^ Friedländer 2016 , p. 245.
* ^ "
Israel Prize Official Site - Recipients in 1983 (in Hebrew)".
* ^ "
UCLA astronomer Andrea Ghez named a 2008 MacArthur Fellow".
UCLA . Retrieved 2008-09-23.
* ^ RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA (2008-04-07). "Washington Post Wins 6
Pulitzer Prizes". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-07. The prize for
nonfiction writing went to Saul Friedlander for his book, “The Years
Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945.”
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* Saul Friedländer’s Home Page at
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