Skrivet av: Henrik Arnstad | lördag, 1 januari 2011

JCPA: ”A fascinating piece of twentieth-century cultural history”

En vetenskaplig publikation utgiven av The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs’ (JCPA) Institute for Global Jewish Affairs recenserar boken, i en analys skriven av fil. dr. Mikael Tossavainen, som arbetar på Stephen Roth-institutet ”for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism”, vid Tel Avivs universitet. Recensionen är kunnig, problematiserande och mycket uppskattande:

Arnstad is aware of the pitfalls of moralism, and he is careful not to pass judgment in his analysis. He demonstrates how certain political and cultural processes have given the Finns, Italians, and Austrians the opportunity to place all the moral guilt on Germany. He does not conclude from this, however, that they are worse than the Germans, or any better or worse than anyone else. This is probably what most countries would have done under similar circumstances, and the book’s purpose is to describe a fascinating piece of twentieth-century cultural history. The fact that some feel attacked should be seen a sign of this book’s considerable importance.

Dock saknar inte recensenten relevanta invändningar:

With all that said, there are still some valid criticisms to raise against this book. First of all, and on this point his Finnish critics are right, it is problematic that Arnstad does not read Finnish or Italian and relies solely on Swedish, English, and a few German sources. This forces him to rely on secondary sources and seriously hampers his ability to say anything authoritative and truly original about these two countries. He is saved by the fact that the reckoning with its wartime past is all but virgin ground in Finland, but with regard to the other countries, this reliance on external sources is inadequate.

Men doktor Tossavainens goda intryck av boken dominerar ändå texten:

The book’s main theme is the psychological, cultural, and political wish to be a victim rather than an aggressor. The title is derived from Ingmar Bergman’s film Wild Strawberries, where the protagonist is found ”guilty of guilt” in a Kafkaesque scene. In this context, Germany is ”guilty of guilt,” thereby absolving all the other Axis countries of their own, taking all their sin upon itself. Arnstad notes that the German confrontation with guilt and responsibility has thus far been counterproductive for its erstwhile allies, enabling them to keep spinning their myths of alleged victimhood. Now, more than sixty years after the war, the process of reexamining such myths has become all the more painful.

Läs hela den långa recensionen på, eller ladda hem den som PDF. Recension #41.


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