Ontology or Bureaucracy?

Hannah Arendt's Early Interpretations of the Holocaust

in European Judaism
Restricted access

In his book The Transparency of Evil, Jean Baudrillard claimed that the opportunity to understand something of the Holocaust had been missed – the time had been ripe in the immediate aftermath of the conflagration but no one took up the challenge. Now that the Holocaust, like every other event in our postmodern universe, has become a simulacrum of itself – known only through the various representations of it that circulate in the culture – it is too late ever to get to grips with what it really involved. Today 'there is no longer enough history to back up any historical proof of what happened . . . History should have been understood while history still existed . . . These things were not understood while we still had the means to understand them. Now they never will be.