Above The Death Pits, Beneath The Flag. Youth Voyages to by Jackie Feldman

By Jackie Feldman

Israeli formative years voyages to Poland are essentially the most well known and influential different types of transmission of Holocaust reminiscence in Israeli society. via in depth player remark, team discussions, pupil diaries, and questionnaires, the writer demonstrates how the nation shapes Poland right into a dwelling deathscape of Diaspora Jewry. through the voyage, scholars endure a ceremony de passage, during which they're reworked into sufferers, positive survivors, and eventually witnesses of the witnesses. through viewing, touching, and smelling Holocaust-period ruins and is still, via accompanying the survivors at the websites in their soreness and survival, crying jointly and appearing commemorative ceremonies on the demise websites, scholars from a wide selection of relatives backgrounds turn into vendors of Shoah reminiscence. they arrive to work out the country and its safety because the romanticized resolution to the Shoah. those voyages are a bureaucratic reaction to uncertainty and fluidity of identification in an more and more globalized and fragmented society. This examine provides a measured and compassionate moral voice to ideological debates surrounding academic and cultural varieties of encountering the previous in modern Israel, and increases additional questions on the illustration of the Holocaust after the dying of the final residing witnesses.

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Extra resources for Above The Death Pits, Beneath The Flag. Youth Voyages to Poland and the Performance of Israeli National Identity

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Thus, Dan BarOn observes (1995: 23) an “aristocracy of victimhood” among Israeli youth: “[Some] youngsters of Asian and African origin, defined themselves as having family ties to the Holocaust on the basis of a single distant relationship. ” Through a close ethnographic reading of on-site discursive practices and bodily actions, we may come to understand how culture produces narratives and, ultimately, carriers of memory that sustain and revitalize historical grand narratives. I will explore how the voyage community is constructed as a three-generational national family of transmission of Shoah memory, assigning them the status of “victim by proxy” (Bauman 1998), and why such assignments are convincing for participants.

According to the recently developed social constructivist approach (Alexander et al. ” Cultural trauma, as a change in a collective identity, takes place only if the patterned meanings of a collectivity are disrupted. : 11). The understanding of a traumatic past, even for direct descendants of survivors, depends upon narrative frames dominant within the groups in which their 01-Ch1 1/16/08 11:40 AM Page 19 Introduction and Methodology 19 stories are told, whether they be frames of redemption (Handelman 2004a: 194–199) or illness (Kidron 2003).

Furthermore, many survivors did not possess the temporal and psychological distance necessary for working through their traumatic Shoah experiences. 7 Within Israeli political culture, the memory of the Shoah was fragmented between National Religious, nonreligious, and Haredi; between left- and right-wing political parties. Each invoked the memory of the Holocaust to strengthen its claim to embody the true answer to the destruction of European Jewry. The Kasztner trial in 1954 resulted in further political fragmentation of Holocaust memory and marked an escalation in the use of Holocaust rhetoric to further partisan goals of Israeli political parties.

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