UCSB Hist 133C,
Arguing Theses: Victims, Resistance
by Prof. Marcuse, Feb. 18, 2004
What points do politicians, historians try to make? How?
- discussion of what a thesis is, and how to argue one: victims, Reagan, JFK
- Nazi past in E & W: Mythic Resistance
- finish discussion of The Reader
- return drafts; Q7 on Schneider on Fri.
The demise of the 3 myths, 2
1980s: end of victimization
- 1985: Reagan and Kohl at Bitburg (symbolic politics); Kohl's national memorial
- 1986: "Historians' Debate"
- 1989: end of divided Germany
1968 Dachau memorials
"To OUR victims of ALL wars"
To ALL victims of OUR wars
Ronald Reagan, Apr. 18, 1985
- "I think that there's nothing wrong with visiting that cemetery where those
young men are victims of Nazism also, even though they were fighting in the
German uniform, drafted into service to carry out the hateful wishes of the
Nazis. They were victims, just as surely as the victims in the concentration
Ronald Reagan, May 5, 1985
- "Twenty-two years ago President John F. Kennedy went to the Berlin Wall
and proclaimed that he, too, was a Berliner. Well, today freedom-loving people
around the world must say, I am a Berliner, I am a Jew in a world still threatened
by anti-Semitism, I am an Afghan, and I am a prisoner of the Gulag, I am a
refugee in a crowded boat foundering off the coast of Vietnam, I am a Laotian,
a Cambodian, a Cuban, and a Miskito Indian in Nicaragua. I, too, am a potential
victim of totalitarianism."
- There are many people in the world who really don't understand, or say they
don't, what is the great issue between the Free World and the Communist world.
Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that communism is the wave
of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe
and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin. And
there are even a few who say that it's true that communism is an evil system,
but it permits us to make economic progress. "Laßt sie nach Berlin kommen."
Let them come to Berlin!
The tenacious third myth
- 1990s: "dialectic/paradox of mythic resistance"
fighting the myth 'proves' resistance,
admitting there was resistance disproves it
- e.g. Oskar Schindler: a "good Nazi" who shows that most Nazis were NOT good!
- Q7 on Friday:
What point (thesis) is Schneider trying to make? (What evidence does he muster?)
- Return drafts and Q6
page by H. Marcuse, prepared for web Feb. 19, 2004
back to top, to UCSB Hist 133c