Améry and Nietzsche on Resentment, Collective Guilt, and Historical Revisionism
This chapter argues that Améry’s account of resentment is influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche’s account of revenge and ressentiment and that resentment provides an existential means which assists Améry in refiguring his social standing as a Holocaust survivor in post-war Europe. He elaborates his account while concurrently drawing out the limitations of Nietzsche’s account. From Améry’s standpoint, his theory of resentment is fit to expose the horrors of the Holocaust that the demand for reconciliation and assimilation strives to repress. His steadfast commitment to resentment is an existential mechanism to resist the oblivion that post-war Europe expects from Jewish communities.