chapter
Introduction
ByDavid Cesarani
Pages 14

In the mid-1990s, a comfortable consensus existed amongst historians concerning post-1945 responses to the wartime persecution and mass murder of Europe’s Jews. They agreed, more or less, that the liberation of the concentration camps and the trials of Nazi leaders had attracted a flurry of attention in 1945-46, but with the focus on Western Europe and within the narrative of the war. The identity of the Jewish victims was often blurred or ignored. Partly thanks to the skewed focus of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, the massacre of the Jews in Eastern Europe and the death camps remained shrouded in mystery. In any case, soon afterwards the world lost interest in what had happened to them. By the late 1940s, even the Jewish communities of Israel and the Diaspora seemed reluctant to engage with the recent past. Due to the onset of the Cold War, efforts to resolve the economic and political issues stemming from the implementation of genocide were quietly discontinued. The Jewish survivors were shunned and neglected. Little historical research was undertaken.1