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The Historical Markers of the Holocaust

No mass killing has stimulated more historical, theological, or philosophical reflection than the systematic destruction of almost 6 million European Jews. One result of this attention is that it has become the only such massacre to receive its own name. Even thinkers who are ideologically against construing the Holocaust as unique are now constrained by language to designate it so every time they use the term. This inherent uniqueness is a large part of why social theory, concerned as it is with universal and generalizable propositions, has largely shied away from the subject. On the other hand, the Holocaust has over the last three decades gradually come to be understood as an epoch-making event that plays a defining role in ...

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