Auschwitz Concentration Camp Frei, Norbert. Article Review

Total Length: 1810 words ( 6 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 6

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This makes his argument less-than-convincing and too vague and philosophical in tone. Even many of his citations merely note authors, rather than actual page numbers. He references the authors' general ideas, rather than specific evidence they present. And some of the sources are in German, which make it difficult to trace his sources or even read the titles of many of the articles used in writing his piece.

The most data-driven aspects of Frei's article come at the end, when he examines the differences between how guilty Stasi members were treated after the unification with Germany, versus how Nazis were treated at the end of the war. There was widespread condemnation of the Stasi, notes Frei, and the government was upfront and honest in allowing citizens to search the available records. But using this liberalism as evidence of a changed attitude towards German historical crimes seems like an overly broad logical leap

The bulk of Frei's evidence comes at the end of the article, in which he discusses various 21st century German government initiatives to engage in reevaluation of the past, and the recent efforts to study the Holocaust and its meaning and to memorialize it in tangible and intangible ways. But his three-generation theory of Holocaust intellectual history, while intriguing, is not substantiated with enough empirical evidence.
Frei's broad thesis seems better-suited to a book rather than a relatively short article in an academic journal.


Frei, Norbert. (2010, September). 1945-1949-1989: dealing with two German pasts.

The Australian Journal of Politics and History. Retrieved October 24, 2010 through at

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