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Brotherhood of Violence, Unity of Violence: The Holocaust and the Yugoslav Policy of Remembrance in Aleksandar Tišma's Novels The Book of Blam, The Use of Man, and Kapo

Pages 168 - 184


This article gives a critical reading of Tišma's representation of the Shoah. It shows how Tišma debunks both the narrative of the Second World War that served as the foundation myth of post-war Yugoslavia, as well as the ethno-national perspective that gradually replaced this narrative. Tišma challenges the teleological optimism of the dominant myth by presenting the Shoah as the ultimate proof of his view of history as an endless cycle of violence. The Shoah thus becomes the symbol of universal cruelty, while the slogan of the Yugoslav brotherhood and unity is reinterpreted as the universal brotherhood and unity of violence. The paper discusses the problematic aspects of this perspective and argues that in Kapo Tišma later modified some of his views.



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