Despite the massive literature on the Holocaust, our understanding of it has traditionally been influenced by rather unsophisticated early perspectives and silence. This book summarizes and criticizes the existing scholarship on the subject and suggests new ways by which we can approach its study. It addresses the use of victim testimony and asks important questions: What function does recording the past serve for the victim? What do historians want from it? Are these two perspectives incompatible? It also examines the perpetrators of the Holocaust, and compares them to those responsible for other acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing in the early years of the twentieth century. In addition, it looks at the bystanders--examining the complexity and ambiguity at the heart of contemporary reaction.