Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Writing poetry helps me process the unspeakable evils of the Holocaust

(JTA) — Not long after the gruesome reality of the Holocaust had burst onto the world’s consciousness, the philosopher and social theorist Theodor Adorno famously observed in 1949 that writing poetry after Auschwitz was barbaric — “nach Auschwitz ein Gedicht zu schreiben, ist barbarisch.”

Less well known but equally insightful was Adorno’s subsequent conclusion, expressed in a 1966 radio address in Germany, that Auschwitz itself constituted nothing less than a “relapse into barbarism.”

Adorno understood that the Shoah’s calculated, systematic savagery was an absolute deviation from the fundame...

 

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