Zygmunt Bauman’s Modernity and the Holocaust argues that the form that the genocide against the Jews took was determined by modern rationality. At the end of the book, he suggests that an emotion, shame, might offer a way to liberate survivors into an engagement with the Shoah’s moral significance. In this chapter, I trace this apparent opposition between reason and emotions through the whole of Modernity and the Holocaust. I show that in Bauman’s mode of writing, if not always in his overall arguments, emotions and reason are often actually closely entwined in his characterisations of both modernity and the Holocaust. On that basis, I revisit his claims that the victims in the Holocaust acted rationally, and in doing so not only secured their own doom but also contributed to the modern nature of the event. I turn to two cases Bauman himself highlights - the Jewish Councils (Judenräte) and the crematorium workers of Auschwitz-Birkenau (Sonderkommando) - and offer readings of their speeches and writings. I demonstrate how they drew on both reason and emotions to interpret and communicate their experiences, and argue that these efforts to make meaning are part of what defines the nature of the Holocaust.