Includes bibliographical references (p. 185-192) and index.
Introduction : Genesis and genocide--the Holocaust, autobiography, and Midrash
Paradise lost, innocence lost
God's ark and Hitler's cattle car
The Babel of extermination
Akeda : the perversity of silence
Israel in Auschwitz : a malediction forbidding mourning
In the life stories of Holocaust survivors, biblical imagery can be invoked to explicate the unexplainable, to make real the unreal. This text examines the role of Genesis in the autobiographies of survivors, those who were the targets of genocidal attack. Three main concerns converge: the literary nature of Biblical allusion, the contextual history of the Holocaust, and Midrashic considerations that arise from biblical reference. After setting the groundwork of autobiographical theory, intertextuality, and the Midrashic tradition, the chapters examine references to Adam and Eve's expulsion from paradise, Noah's Ark, the Tower of Babel, the Akeda, Jacob's struggle with the angel, and Cain's murder of Abel. Of particular importance are the ways in which these allusions shed light both on the original text and on the act of genocide perpetrated by the Nazis. (source: Nielsen Book Data)