Book Launch: “Judging ‘Privileged’ Jews”


Dr Adam Brown in conversation with Dr Mirna Cicioni about his new book:

Judging ‘Privileged’ Jews: Holocaust Ethics, Representation and The ‘Grey Zone’.

The Nazis’ creation of prisoner hierarchies gave rise to a wide range of so-called “priveleged” positions in the camps and ghettos, forcing many victims to cooperate with their persecutors. Such controversial figures constitute an intrinsically important, frequently misunderstood, and often taboo aspect of the Holocaust.

Drawing on Primo Levi’s concept of the “grey zone,” this book examines moral judgements of “privileged” Jews in Holocaust testimony, Raul Hilberg’s history, and several films, including Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah and Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List. Negotiating the problems and possibilities of “representing the unrepresentable,” Judging “Privileged” Jews engages with issues that are fundamental to present-day attempts to understand the Holocaust and deeply relevant to reflections on human nature.

Dr Adam Brown is a Lecturer in Media Studies at Deakin University, Australia, and works as a volunteer at the Melbourne Holocaust Museum. Co-author of Communication, New Media and Everyday Life (2012), he is intensely interested in animal and human rights issues. Adam’s research has spanned Holocaust representation, surveillance and film, mediations of rape, digital children’s television, and board game culture.

Dr Mirna Cicioni is an Honorary Research Associate at Monash University and professional interpreter. Her research has focused on post-World War II Italian authors, linguistics, and gender studies. Mirna is the author of one of the first books on Auschwitz survivor Primo Levi, entitled Primo Levi: Bridges of Knowledge (1995).