Sarah's Key is culled from a popular novel (by Tatiana de Rosnay)
set during the Holocaust and the Nazi occupation of France. The main
character, an American magazine writer (Kristin Scott Thomas) living
in Paris, discovers that her husband's family acquired their home after
the Jews who once lived there were sent to an abandoned stadium, where
they endured three hellish days before the Nazis transported them to the
Zachary Braiterman challenges a well-subscribed theory about the delay in the expression of post-Holocaust thought and the onset of dialogue. Often understood as a kind of post-traumatic stress response, the near quarter-century of silence is due more to "discursive factors" than the "psychologism" of shock, Braiterman proposes.
On a wall of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., is a quotation from Israeli historian Yahuda Bauer: "Thou shalt not be a victim. Thou shalt not be a perpetrator. Above all, thou shalt not be a bystander." At first glance, the "above all" is problematic. Why is it not better to be a passive witness to evil than an active agent?