NYT Sunday Review: Sarah Gensburger’s “The Banality of Robbing the Jews”

November 18th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

In the Opinion Pages of yesterday’s New York Times Sunday Review, Sarah Gensburger’s “The Banality of Robbing the Jews,” translated by yours truly. Gensburger is a social scientist at France’s National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the author of Images of Plunder: An Album of the Looting of Jews in Paris. An excerpt:

The contents of each apartment were divided into two groups. Damaged objects or personal ones, like papers or family photos, were burned almost daily in a bonfire at the Quai de la Gare. The other items were sorted and classified by category, rather than source. A saucepan taken from one family would be added to a stack of other saucepans rather than kept in the original set. Stripped of their provenance, items lost their identity. Belongings became goods.

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