Cover image for Selling the Holocaust : from Auschwitz to Schindler : how history is bought, packaged, and sold
Selling the Holocaust : from Auschwitz to Schindler : how history is bought, packaged, and sold
Cole, Tim, 1970-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Routledge, 1999.
Physical Description:
ix, 214 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D804.3 .C6495 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Cole shows us an "Auschwitz-land" where tourists have become the "ultimate ruberneckers" passing by and gazing at someone else's tragedy. He shows us a US Holocaust Museum that provides visitors with a "virtual Holocaust" experience.

Author Notes

Tim Cole is a professor of history at the University of Bristol. He was formerly the Paul Resnick Resident Scholar at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In 1997, the Bee Gees toured Anne Frank's house in Amsterdam, along with 700,000 other bubble-gum chewing, minicam-clutching voyeurs. A man was spotted at Auschwitz wearing, with supreme irony, a Megadeth T-shirt. Gifted with a sensitive understanding of the Holocaust, Cole, history professor at the University of Bristol, sets out to parse the shifting myths created from the historical event of the Holocaust, especially its morphing into a ubiquitous, feel-good affirmation of America's core values. In seeking to understand the subtle implications of marketing remembrance, Cole focuses on three figuresÄAnne Frank, Adolph Eichmann and Oskar SchindlerÄand three sitesÄAuschwitz, Yad Vashem (Israel's Holocaust museum in Jerusalem) and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. What does it mean when Schindler's List becomes a de facto primary historical text, or when the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (where Cole is a visiting fellow) is just one more item on an itinerary that includes the peep show thrills of the Texas Book Depository and Graceland? At a time when tourists flock to the Spielberg film location rather than to the actual ghetto, argues Cole, the Holocaust has been turned into a sort of virtual history. Cole's book makes an excellent complement to Peter Novick's superb The Holocaust in American Life (Forecasts, May 3), with which it shares an informed wariness about the perils of historical representation. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

Cole, Pearl Resnick Resident Scholar at the US Holocaust Museum, distinguishes between the Holocaust as a historical event and what he calls the "Holocaust myth." The term myth, explains Cole, does not mean that the account is false. Rather, it is a story that evokes strong sentiment and that transmits and reinforces basic societal values. The historical Holocaust, as depicted in film, television and stage plays, and other expressions of popular culture, now exists apart from the historical event. Cole argues that popular culture has subverted the facts of the Holocaust to derive lessons from the destruction of European Jewry. Given its "mythical" status in the arts, the Holocaust risks becoming universalized to teach people about the evils of racism, discrimination, and bigotry in general. Cole admits that lessons derived from the Holocaust may have positive consequences, but the value of these lessons is lost when popular culture is not candid about the fact that they are more products of that particular time and place than they are lessons for present times. To be read in conjunction with Peter Novick's The Holocaust in America (CH, Nov'99). All levels. J. Fischel; Millersville University

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introduction to the Paperback Editionp. xi
Prologue: The Rise (and Fall?) of the Myth of the 'Holocaust'p. 1
Part I. People
1. Anne Frankp. 23
2. Adolf Eichmannp. 47
3. Oskar Schindlerp. 73
Part II. Places
4. Auschwitzp. 97
5. Yad Vashemp. 121
6. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DCp. 146
Epiloguep. 172
Notesp. 189
Select Bibliographyp. 206
Indexp. 210