Introduction
I imagine that if there were such a thing as a collective Jew, he might well ask himself . . .
am I the same today as the Jew of thirty-five years ago? Yes, it is indeed me; it is indeed
us. But there are deep clefts, despite appearances: everything has changed and yet nothing
has.—Saul Friedlander, WhenMemoryComes
Over the course of the twentieth century, the crime of genocide—the attempt to
eliminateanethnic,national,orreligiousminority—hasgrowninscopeandfre-
quency.Suchattackshave,inthecurrentparlance,allowednation-statesto‘‘con-
struct’’themselves—if inthemostradicalway—aroundidealsofonenation,one
state, forcing out those who would cast national identity into question. Univer-
sally condemned, these violent massacres nevertheless have often obtained their
objectives,providingsomestateswithadefinitivemeanstoestablishthenation’s
citizenry, identifying a particular set of persons as its own while marking others
as
aliens.1
Although scholars have paid attention to the role of genocide in shaping
the nature and composition of existing societies, few have investigated its long-
term impact on those cast as national
outsiders.2
And yet those dubbed aliens by
genocidalregimeshavefacedmorethanviolentuprootingsfromtheirhomesand
communities; they have also confronted ideological onslaughts that cast doubt
ontheirplaceinaninternationalcivilsocietyconstitutedprimarilyalongnational
lines. The growth of the modern nation-state, and its consolidation in Europe
following World War I, defined the rights and obligations of those living in its
midst, certified their citizenship, and provided for their welfare. Implicit in this
relationship between citizen and state was the understanding that those not of
the nation were ‘‘outsiders’’ to it. International treaties regularized the status of
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