Maly said. If so, then whole structures must be shored up, he said, arguing that piecemeal repairs risk further wholesale damage. Since that decisive move to obliterate a powerful Nazi symbol, the site has been many things to many people.
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In , the evangelist Billy Graham preached and rallied thousands. The Sudeten Germans, ethnic Germans expelled in from their ancestral lands to the east, rallied here that year as well.
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Their rally, noted the exhibit curator Alexander Schmidt, now looks and sounds like a latter-day Nazi gathering. In , Billy Joel and his half brother, Alexander, a classical musician, performed here, honoring their father and grandfather, who came from Nuremberg and fled the Nazis. And naturally, Ms. Courtroom , where those trials unfolded, is now part of another museum, across town. Jackson, the museum traces a direct arc to present tribunals of international justice in The Hague. Up to , people, half of them foreigners, now visit the museum at the site of the party congresses each year.
Northern Bavarians in their early teens pay compulsory school visits, experiencing what Mr. How modern the memorials and museums here should be was one point of heated discussion among the academics. A British historian, Neil Gregor of the University of Southampton in England, who has chronicled Nazi Nuremberg, argued hardest for contemporary themes, such as refugees, and making the debate more multiethnic.
Others wanted the focus firmly on the Third Reich. Rock music blasted nearby.
The Americans left, said Mr. It took a full four decades for disability rights activists to become able to shape policy in significant ways. It therefore comes as no great surprise that negative assumptions about disability would end up also shaping the abortion discussions during the height of the sexual revolution in the s. It was apparently easier for advocates across Western Europe to say that abortion should be legal because it was supposedly so awful to bear and raise a disabled child, than to argue comprehensively for sexual freedom and make the case that women deserve to decide about their sexual and reproductive lives.
In the course of that year, I undertook extensive research on the peculiar fact that in post-Nazi Germany, the lessons of Nazism and the Holocaust were worked through in the realm of sexual politics.
Conservative Christians in the s and s argued that the Nazis had encouraged sexual licentiousness and that their sexual immorality was inextricable from their genocidal barbarism. Later, in the s and s, New Left and liberal activists argued exactly the opposite. They asserted that only sexual liberation would prevent another Auschwitz. What exactly had been the relationship between pleasure and evil under Nazism? What did any of this have to do with the ways in which specifically Jewish activists had been at the forefront of sex rights advances in the Weimar era?
And, how did the later reinterpretation of the past, linking Nazi brutality not with sexual incitement but rather pervasive sexual repression, even if it was historically false, actually help to promote causes like the decriminalization of homosexuality and liberalization of access to contraception?
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The book that came out of that research was published in , titled Sex after Fascism: Memory and Morality in Twentieth-Century Germany. How can we best understand what we might call the sex work done by the Religious Right for the Republican Party in the United States in the s and s?
What do we gain when we use a comparativist approach—across 25 countries and years—to explain how sexual cultures go in either liberal or conservative directions? For as it happens, the LGBT rights movements of the s and s, both in the United States and across Europe, have been incredibly significant for preparing a strong case for disability rights.
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They have modeled imaginative new ways to engender empathy and to communicate both the universally relevant implications and the minoritizing aspects of differently abled life—whether emphasizing the beauty of nonnormative bodies or the ways disability, because it causes such intricate interdependencies between people, inevitably reconfigures families. In the meantime, the collapse of communism and the unification of Europe also brought novel complications, as fiercely nationalist and aggressively sexually conservative versions of Christianity—hostile to abortion and homosexuality alike and positioning themselves against the purported licentiousness of the post-sexual-revolution West—were newly in the ascendant.
Pasts and presents were suddenly ricocheting wildly—and those ricochets became part of what I write about. Some of them exist to this day, now dispersed across dozens of nations. Studying these communities showed me that there have been other ways to unlearn eugenics in post-Nazi Europe—and bringing these into view has helped me think about ways of living that hold valuable promise for the future as well.
She writes and teaches on the history of the Holocaust and its aftermath, the histories of religion and Jewish-Christian relations, and the histories of gender and sexuality. She is completing an annotated translation of work by the first European psychoanalyst since Freud to declare that homosexuality is not a pathology: the radical Swiss analyst, ethnographer, and artist Fritz Morgenthaler. Social Science Research Council. The SSRC is an independent, international, nonprofit organization.