Shoah: Background information when reading The Patagonian Hare

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The Patagonian Hare

A Memoir

by Claude Lanzmann

The Patagonian Hare
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2012, 544 pages
    Jun 2013, 544 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Judy Krueger

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:

In 1974, Claude Lanzmann took a leave from journalism to begin work on his landmark, nine-and-a-half hour long film about the Holocaust, Shoah (1985). As he explains in an interview with NPR (March 2012), he chose the title Shoah (Hebrew for "catastrophe") because he dislikes the word "holocaust," which translates as "a burnt religious sacrifice." He couldn't see for which Gods so many innocent people had been killed. The word shoah was less familiar, inexplicit, and not as easily understood. It more accurately depicted his feelings about such a terrible event. He reflects that, "...the truth is that there is no name for what happened."

movie poster for Shoah In contrast with many other works concerning the Holocaust, Shoah contains no historical footage but relies on interviews with survivors, bystanders, and perpetrators. Images of Treblinka, Auschwitz, and the Warsaw ghetto as they looked in the later 1970s are interspersed with first-hand accounts of what happened there. One of the former Nazis...

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