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N.1/2022 Libertinismo: Filosofia e Scrittura

Spinoza ad Auschwitz
Sulle pratiche della memoria e la prevenzione dei genocidi

Erminio Maglione

Published in June, 2022

Spinoza at Auschwitz. On the Practices of Memory and the Prevention of Genocides.

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Starting from Gabriele Nissim’s recent volume, Auschwitz non finisce mai. La memoria della Shoah e i nuovi genocidi [Auschwitz never ends. The Memory of the Shoah and the New Genocides], the aim of this essay is to reflect
on the practices of memory and the ways in which genocides can be prevented.
Central to the analysis is the deconstruction of the notion of the uniqueness of
the Shoah, seen as an event impossible to compare with other genocides. This

thesis is critiqued through the idea of historical comparison proposed by Yehuda Bauer, who is especially polemical on the theological and messianic interpretations of the Shoah, and through Raphael Lemkin’s universalist philosophy,

centred on the innovative concept of “genocide”. The last part of the article
discusses Nissim’s original interpretation of Spinoza’s theory. According to the
latter, the good of the individual, and thus his utility, can only coincide with
the good of mankind after a strict course of education through the example of
righteous men.


Gabriele Nissim, Righteous men, Genocides, Memory, Yehuda Bauer, Raphael Lemkin, Baruch Spinoza.



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