A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation*

Beth Greenbaum

Abstract


Driven by thirst after just arriving at Auschwitz, told he can’t even break off an icicle to suck, Primo Levi asks, “Why?” A guard answers, “There is no ‘why’ here.” Why did this happen? Why did the Holocaust happen? Why do other genocides continue to happen? Eric D. Weitz, in his book A Century of Genocide:
Utopias of Race and Nation, suggests a nation’s attempt to create a utopian society leads to genocide. His answer to this unanswerable, almost unaskable question—why—is courageous and fruitful.

Keywords


Genocide, Race, Nation

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