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Claude Lanzmann changed forever the way we think about the Holocaust

By David Herman  
Claude Lanzmann at Cannes in 2017 © PA

Claude Lanzmann at Cannes in 2017 © PA

Claude Lanzmann died on 5th July, aged 92. Le Monde summed him up in one sentence: “cinéaste, fierce defender of Israel, he was also a writer, journalist and philosopher.” But in the English-speaking world he will always be remembered for his masterpiece, Shoah (1985), an epic documentary about the Holocaust.

What is so extraordinary about Shoah is its originality. It single-handedly led to the widespread use of the word “Shoah” (the Hebrew for calamity) to…

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