This is the website of the writer and journalist Göran Rosenberg. I will do my best to keep this page updated with translated articles, papers, excerpts from books and other information. These texts are for your private use only. If you wish to reprint or otherwise reproduce them you will need my permission.
(Navigation for the English version of the site can be found at the bottom of this page.)
THE AUGUST PRIZE
Ett kort uppehåll på vägen från Auschwitz (Bonniers 2012), was awarded The August Prize of 2012 for best book of the year. Also published in Danish (Tiderne Skifter) Norwegian (Forlaget Press), Italian (Una breve sosta nel viaggio da Auschwitz, Ponte alle Grazie), German (Ein kurzer Aufenthalt, Rowohlt Berlin), French (Une brève halte après Auschwitz, Seuil, awarded Prix du Meilleur livre étranger, 2014), Dutch (Een kort oponthoud, Atlas/Contact), Polish (Krótki przystanek w drodze z Auschwitz, Czarne), Hebrew (Atzira kzara bederech mi Auschwitz, Yedioth Ahronoth), Finnish (Lyhyt pysähdys matkalla pois Auschwitzista, Atena) and English (A Brief Stop on the Road from Auschwitz, Granta, UK, Nov 2014, and Other Press, USA, February 2015).
Lousiana Art Channel: The Road from Auschwitz.
A towering and wondrous work about memory and experience, exquisitely crafted, beautifully written, humane, generous, devastating, yet somehow also hopeful.
Philippe Sands in The Financial Times on Nov 8 2014
Written with tender precision, “A Brief Stop on the Road From Auschwitz,” recently published in the United States, is the most powerful account I have read of the other death — the death after the camps.
Roger Cohen in The New York Times on March 10, 2015
Rosenberg schreibt in eine einfache Sprache, so schnörkellos und schlicht wie skandinavisches Design. Seine Sätze sind von einer bestehenden Klarheit, durch Wiederholungen erreicht er eine gewisse Elegie, ein sehnsuchtsvoll bedauernde Grundmelodie, die das Buch zu mehr macht als „nur“ der Überlebensgeschichte seines Vaters: nämlich zu großer Literatur. Mitunter ist sein Buch auch von einer bösen Traurigkeit durchzogen, einem beißenden Witz, die sich an den Ungerechtigkeiten, die seinem Vater widerfahren sind, festbeißt und nicht lockerlässt, bis er sie dekonstruiert hat und in aller ihrer Widerwärtigkeit entblößt.
Johanna Andorran in The Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung on March 3 2013.
A discussion between myself and professor Avi Shlaim at Lund University in April 2016.
Essay in the Swedish daily Expressen June 4th 2017
Measuring Israel. It is sometimes said that Israel is measured on a different scale than other countries, which is probably true, and moreover quite explicable, and for me a given as well. When the idea of "Jewish state" was born at the first Zionist congress in Basel hundred twenty years ago, and when the British government in the Balfour Declaration hundred years ago committed itself to a "Jewish National Home" in Palestine, and when the UN General Assembly seventy years ago voted for the partition of the British mandate in a Jewish and Arab state, and when fifty years ago the new state of Israel won what looked like a David’s victory over Goliath, no ordinary scales applied. Someone would say that biblical scales applied, and there is some truth to this as well.
Comment in the Swedish daily Expressen, April 29, 2017.
Donald Trump's hundred days of destruction. After a hundred days, President Donald Trump has accomplished a lot. Not by making anything, or getting anything done (rather a record of not getting anything done) but by undermining some of the foundations of American democracy. The authority of the Presidency has been gambled away on a faint twitter account for the nightly production of alternative facts and shameless lies. The President’s oval office has been remade into a TV-studio for the making of the daily reality show, "The President signs another historic document to make America great again", against a interchangeable backdrop of constantly smiling and applauding yes-men (and an occasional woman) - like in any banana republic. The independence and the disinterestedness of the office of the President he has without a moment’s hesitation sacrificed to Mammon, or more precisely to the ability of the Trump family to enrich itself by using the power of government to promote its private businesses – like in any banana republic.
Comment on Swedish Radio P1, Sunday morning show, Godmorgon världen, January 22, 2017.
Donald Trump and the Global Return of Nationalism
At his inauguration on January 20, 2017, the 45th president of the United States made abundantly clear to the world that the world no longer is America’s concern, and that a world order which so far had been built on that very premise would have to find something else to build on.
Like walls between nations instead of open borders, isolationism and protectionism instead of international agreements and treaties, the right of the mighty instead of a common system of international rights and obligations that was instituted at the end of the WW II to make sure that the nationalist outbreaks and breakdowns that twice had ravaged the world would never happen again.
Comment on Swedish Radio P1, Sunday morning show, Godmorgon världen, November 20, 2016.
History has not ended
No, “ordinary people” didn’t necessarily say and think as Donald Trump before Donald Trump made his voice heard. The voice of the classical demagogue.
The democrats of Greek antiquity feared the demagogue more than anything else, since they knew well what the unscrupulous voice of a demagogue could to do democracy, namely undo it.
Comment in Expressen, November 13, 2016.
Sleepless in Europe
The election of Donald Trump has demonstrated that a language of defamation, hatred and lying can attract more voters than it repels, and that verbal brutality can be a road to power. The outcome of the US election is a clear message to the burgeoning populist and xenophobic parties of Europe that they henceforth should feel free to smear, vilify and incite without any fear of transgressing the “politically correct” borders of decency and shame.
See also this version published by Huffington Post.
Comment on Godmorgon världen, Swedish Radio, October 23 2016.
Democracy after Trump
Donald Trump will not become America's next president, on this I dare put my money, but the problem is no longer Donald Trump. The problem is the many millions of Americans who are still going to vote for what the whole world now knows is a notorious liar, a shameless molester of women, a xenophobe, an advocate of torture, an admirer of dictators, an inciter of violence, who' is handing out promises he cannot possibly keep.
Comment on Godmorgon världen, Swedish Radio, July 31st 2016.
When lying becomes norm
It is true that Machiavelliinformed his prince that “the deceiver always will always find someone ready to be deceived”, but I find it hard to believe that he could have imagined millions of people willingly being deceived by someone who openly and shamelessly had declared to anyone willing to listen that his truth of today was his lie of tomorrow.
A RE-READ FROM THE TURN OF THE MILLENNIUM
New Perspectives Quarterly, Summer 1999
The Heritage of a Century
Things have changed, important collective experiences have been made, history does not repeat itself, but when we wish to assess the heritage of a century, we cannot but mote that the tensions we thought were history, are still with us, or can easily be recreated.