"Stealing the Holocaust from the Jews"? The Holocaust as metaphor in public discourse

Esther Webman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The title of this chapter is taken from Edward Alexander's article "Stealing the Holocaust," published in November 1980 in the American quarterly Midstream. Alexander pointed to a process which "began with small acts of (usually innocent) distortion" in the American civil rights movement, "with its references to the curtailment of free lunch programs in Harlem as genocide, or its casual descriptions of Watts as a concentration camp, and of the ordinary black neighborhood anywhere as a ghetto." A campaign to steal the Holocaust from the Jews and invert the roles of the victim and the predator, he went on to say, was also carried out by the Arab and Soviet-inspired "Zionism is racism" United Nations (UN) resolution in 1975. In the late 1980s, Elie Wiesel also expressed alarm that other victim groups are "stealing the Holocaust from us."

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAntisemitism Before and Since the Holocaust
Subtitle of host publicationAltered Contexts and Recent Perspectives
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9783319488660
ISBN (Print)9783319488653
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2017


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