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Non-Fiction vs. Fiction Holocaust Literature

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Maya Palmer

on 19 September 2013

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Transcript of Non-Fiction vs. Fiction Holocaust Literature

Non-Fiction vs. Fictional Holocaust Literature
How is this relevant?
How does Holocaust literature reflect that culture and time period?
Non-fictional writers tend to more accurately portray that time period, due to their extensive research or real life experiences.
Ex. During the Holocaust, Jews did not refer to the Holocaust as the Holocaust. They called it 'Shoah', meaning destruction. Some fictional authors, inaccurately have the Jews in their books refer to their circumstances as the Holocaust or a holocaust.
How does this relate to the books we've read in class?
The topic of nonfiction and fiction literature about the Holocaust directly pertains to the stories we have been reading in class. Both Night and Ordinary Men (nonfiction) were written with the intention of telling a specific side of the story. Rose Blanche (fiction) was written with the intention of being able to explain the Holocaust to young children.

Is it better to study non-fiction Holocaust literature or fiction?
In our opinion, nonfiction is a better way to learn about the Holocaust because there is no better way to learn about an event than from someone who experienced it first hand. Fiction writers may not know if everything that they include in their stories is true. Most non-fiction writers experienced the Holocaust first hand or do year-long studies on their topics, as opposed to fiction writers whose information about the culture of Nazi Germany or Jews could be inaccurate.

Belman, Lee. "Project Muse." www.muse.com. Purdue University, 15 9 2013. Web. 18 Sep 2013.

"Literature on the Holocaust." yadvashem.org. Shoah Resource Center, The International School for Holocaust Studies. Web. 16 Sep 2013. <http://www.yadvashem.org/odot_pdf/Microsoft Word - 6409.pdf>.

Presner, Todd, dir. Holocaust in Film and Literature: Lecture 1. UCLA Courses, Film. 16 Sep 2013. <https://www.udemy.com/holocaust-in-film-and-literature-german-59-ucla/>.

Wiesel , Elie, dir. Universal Lessons of the Holocaust. wejew.com, Film. 19 Sep 2013. <http://wejew.com/media/4634/Elie_Wiesel:_Universal_Lessons_of_the_Holocaust/>.
Where did this topic come from?
The writers, in general, are trying to inform you about the Holocaust. Also, some say that fictional representations of the holocaust are not accurate and should not be written.

Nonfiction and fiction literature are relevant to the Holocaust because it directly influences the way we view the Holocaust. The way an author portrays the characters and the location, make us think "these are the good guys, these are the bad guys, and they were in a terrible place." A nonfiction writer may be sharing a personal story, such as Elie Wiesel in Night, is writing about what they experienced, while a fiction writer is creating characters and emotions without actually experiencing the event first hand.
Examples: Elie was as Jew, therefore he was helpless; Carl was a Nazi, therefore he was a bad person; Auschwitz was concentration camp, so only bad things happened there.
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