The Holocaust in Historical Context, by Steven T. Katz
In recent years, partisan evocation of the Holocaust has begun to occlude its image in historical memory. Ever since Betty Friedan, for example, in The Feminine Mystique referred to the suburban home as the “comfortable concentration camp” of contemporary American women, the Holocaust has enjoyed a prominent place in feminist discourse, with one feminist tract after another drawing parallels between the plight of women and that of Europe’s Jews.
Homosexual activists, too, have eagerly hitched themselves to the Holocaust bandwagon. “The fate of Jews and gay people,” writes the late Yale historian, John Boswell, in his Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality (1980), “has been almost identical throughout European history, from early Christian hostility to extermination in concentration camps”; the burgeoning corpus of homosexual-rights literature is studded with similar references to the allegedly analogous fate of Jews and homosexuals under Nazi rule.
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