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2016, iss. 151, pp. 303-317
article language: Serbian
document type: Original Paper
published on: 09/12/2016
doi: 10.5937/kultura1651303A
The role of arts and history in the representation of holocaust
University of Arts


Following the famous Adorno's sentence: 'Writing poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric', we can ask ourselves if representing holocaust in art is ethical, and if so, what is the proper way of doing it? The Holocaust discourse has motivated and moved many artists and critiques to consider and discuss open questions of holocaust representation. Who has the right to try and represent the holocaust? How should we represent the holocaust and how can we deal with the question of responsibility in a postwar world? Poetry, ritual, music, film, photography, art in general, help us to remember, remind those not yet born that they have to feel suffering they were lucky to avoid, not only as a tribute to the victims, but to stay human. In Auschwitz, culture, science, art and progress became monstrous pictures in the mirror of human existence. A question was raised and constantly repeated after Auschwitz: 'Is Auschwitz the end - the peak of our culture or a tipping point that we still do not understand? Is it possible for art to express the truth about Auschwitz?' If holocaust represents a historic turning point for the application of extreme violence of mass killing, then this turning point also presents completely new challenges to individual remembrance and collective memory.



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