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ProQuest Search “Holocaust” 1950

Uploaded by planotJ on Oct 26, 2011

This paper discusses using the ProQuest database to search for the word “Holocaust” in 1950, and the results of that search. (5 pages; 4 sources; MLA citation style)

I Introduction

The Holocaust is a term we now use to refer almost exclusively to the extermination of European Jewry by the Nazis in the 1930’s and 1940’s. The word originally meant destruction by fire, but is rarely used in that sense today.
This paper will use the ProQuest database to find out what articles where published about the Holocaust in 1950.

II Methodology and Discussion

I accessed ‘The New York Times’ deep backfile directly, asking it to search for the word “Holocaust” for the period 1/1/50 to 12/31/50. The search yielded only 26 hits; of those articles, most use the word to describe something other than the Nazi exterminations.
I did however notice what seems to be sort of “theme” running through these articles in connection with the use of the word “holocaust”—the fear of nuclear war. In fact the usage was striking. It is instructive to examine these 26 pieces to see how many of them use the word in this context.
Of the 26, eight articles, nearly one-third of the total, use the world “holocaust” to refer to the potential for nuclear conflict. Four more use the word to refer to conventional warfare, including the war just ended. This brings to the total to 13, or half the entire selection. War, both conventional and nuclear, seems to have occupied newspapers during the year 1950 to a substantial degree.
Some of the articles about the potential for nuclear conflict are well-reasoned, but several stand out for what seems a near-hysterical writing style. One of these is entitled “Civilian Defense Held Inadequate,” published February 21, 1950. In it, one Dr. George Baehr, speaking to the tenth annual Congress on Industrial Health, said that current plans for civilian defense were totally inadequate. Further, he said that since the military would be off meeting the attacks and launching counterattacks, any and all emergency plans would have to be devised and run by civilians. To quote the good doctor directly:
“The present equanimity of our people is to be ascribed largely to the fact that they do not as yet realize the full significance of the absence at this time of specific methods of protection against the catastrophic effects of atomic...

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Uploaded by:   planotJ

Date:   10/26/2011

Category:   World War II

Length:   5 pages (1,182 words)

Views:   605

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