A Historian's View of The Kindly Ones

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Historical novels can contribute to the understanding of the past, and Littell has certainly read the historical literature on the Holocaust carefully and borrowed frequently from it. By constructing his central character as a sexually depraved psychopath, however, Littell has ignored historians' findings that the majority of Holocaust perpetrators were more or less "ordinary" men. This raises questions about the tendency of literature scholars to praise The Kindly Ones for the insights it offers into the minds of those who carried out the Holocaust.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFaux Titre
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NameFaux Titre
ISSN (Print)0167-9392

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2012 Brill. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • History
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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