Overview (World Philosophers and Their Works)
Calling their regime the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party ruled Germany from 1933 to 1945. The Holocaust, Nazi Germany’s planned total destruction of the European Jews and the actual murder of nearly six million of them, took place during those years. More than a million Jews were gassed at Auschwitz. The catastrophe that befell his people, the Jews, during the Holocaust led Richard L. Rubenstein to write After Auschwitz. The first edition, published in 1966, assured Rubenstein’s significance in Jewish theology. Revised and expanded in 1992, this book remains required reading for anyone interested in post-Holocaust philosophy and religion.
Significantly, the Holocaust did not occur until the mid-twentieth century, although conditions necessary, but not sufficient, to produce it were forming centuries before. After Auschwitz helps to show how Christian anti-Judaism and its demonization of Jews were decisive antecedents of the Holocaust. It also discusses the importance of the post-Holocaust emergence of the State of Israel, but the book is best known for its emphasis on a collision between faith in the God of history—some Christian beliefs about such a God have produced Christian anti-Judaism—and the disastrous reality of the Holocaust.
The 1992 version of After Auschwitz is more a new book than a second edition of an old one. Nine of the original version’s fifteen chapters were eliminated; those...
(The entire section is 1987 words.)
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