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Date: 2013
Abstract: Despite the Holocaust’s profound impact on the history of Eastern Europe, the communist regimes successfully repressed public discourse about and memory of this tragedy. Since the collapse of communism in 1989, however, this has changed. Not only has a wealth of archival sources become available, but there have also been oral history projects and interviews recording the testimonies of eyewitnesses who experienced the Holocaust as children and young adults. Recent political, social, and cultural developments have facilitated a more nuanced and complex understanding of the continuities and discontinuities in representations of the Holocaust. People are beginning to realize the significant role that memory of Holocaust plays in contemporary discussions of national identity in Eastern Europe. This volume of original essays explores the memory of the Holocaust and the Jewish past in postcommunist Eastern Europe. Devoting space to every postcommunist country, the essays in Bringing the Dark Past to Light explore how the memory of the “dark pasts” of Eastern European nations is being recollected and reworked. In addition, it examines how this memory shapes the collective identities and the social identity of ethnic and national minorities. Memory of the Holocaust has practical implications regarding the current development of national cultures and international relationships. Table of Contents List of Illustrations Preface and Acknowledgments Introduction John-Paul Himka and Joanna Beata Michlic 1. "Our Conscience Is Clean": Albanian Elites and the Memory of the Holocaust in Postsocialist Albania Daniel Perez 2. The Invisible Genocide: The Holocaust in Belarus Per Anders Rudling 3. Contemporary Responses to the Holocaust in Bosnia and Herzegovina Francine Friedman 4. Debating the Fate of Bulgarian Jews during World War II Joseph Benatov 5. Representations of the Holocaust and Historical Debates in Croatia since 1989 Mark Biondich 6. The Sheep of Lidice: The Holocaust and the Construction of Czech National History Michal Frankl 7. Victim of History: Perceptions of the Holocaust in Estonia Anton Weiss-Wendt 8. Holocaust Remembrance in the German Democratic Republic--and Beyond Peter Monteath 9. The Memory of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Hungary Part 1: The Politics of Holocaust Memory Paul Hanebrink Part 2: Cinematic Memory of the Holocaust Catherine Portuges 10. The Transformation of Holocaust Memory in Post-Soviet Latvia Bella Zisere 11. Conflicting Memories: The Reception of the Holocaust in Lithuania Saulius Sužied<edot>lis and Šarūnas Liekis 12. The Combined Legacies of the "Jewish Question" and the "Macedonian Question" Holly Case 13. Public Discourses on the Holocaust in Moldova: Justification, Instrumentalization, and Mourning Vladimir Solonari 14. The Memory of the Holocaust in Post-1989 Poland: Renewal--Its Accomplishments and Its Powerlessness Joanna B. Michlic and Małgorzata Melchior 15. Public Perceptions of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Romania Felicia Waldman and Mihai Chioveanu 16. The Reception of the Holocaust in Russia: Silence, Conspiracy, and Glimpses of Light Klas-Göran Karlsson 17. Between Marginalization and Instrumentalization: Holocaust Memory in Serbia since the Late 1980s Jovan Byford 18. The "Unmasterable Past"? The Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Slovakia Nina Paulovičová 19. On the Periphery: Jews, Slovenes, and the Memory of the Holocaust Gregor Joseph Kranjc 20. The Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Ukraine John-Paul Himka Conclusion Omer Bartov Contributors Index
Author(s): Polikar, Samy
Date: 2006
Date: 2014
Abstract: Ladino, the heritage language of cultural affiliation for many Sephardic Jews in Bulgaria and beyond, is often discussed in terms of language endangerment and of cultural loss for this community and humanity more widely. However, for intercultural communication specialists, especially those with a linguistic focus, the Ladino experiences of Sephardic Jews in Bulgaria, as set against the backdrop of their changing political and social realities, provide rich insights regarding the linguistic complexities of identity. Through the Ladino-framed narratives of (often elderly) members of this community, we have learned how they drew, and continue to draw, upon their diverse linguistic and cultural resources to define themselves, to articulate their various identities, and to communicate within and beyond Bulgarian society. In order to connect these insights to current discussions of interculturality, and as informed by intercultural thinking, we developed the following five-zone framework: (1) the (intra-)personal, that is a zone of internal dialogue; (2) the domestic, that is a zone for the family; (3) the local, that is a zone for the Sephardic community in Bulgaria; (4) the diasporic, that is a zone for the wider Sephardic Jewish community; and (5) the international, that is the international community of Spanish-speakers. Further, the project presented here is methodologically innovative involving: several languages (i.e. it was researched multilingually as well as focused on multilingual communities) and therefore issues of translation and representation; and the use of researcher narratives as an additional means for managing the inherent reflexivities in our work.
Date: 2009
Abstract: The subject of the article has been the evolution of stage performances and musical production as a mechanism of showing Jewish identity in Bulgaria in the wake of 1989. The text points out how the working out and presentation of cultural products through stage performance and amateur artistic activities turn into a way of shaping new models of Jewish identity in the wake of 1989 (construed as an element of a newly established “fabricated” tradition in the view of Eric Hobsbawm, in a period when classical folklore is losing its positions in everyday culture). The article focuses on the shows of several Jewish vocal and dancing formations, choir ensembles and soloists, who through their repertories enforce new folklore models as part of the creation of the new collective image of Bulgarian Jewry during the past 15-20 years. Two major components have been taken into consideration exerting the strongest impact on the artistic models: on the one hand, the historical relationship of the Bulgarian Jews with the Sephardic cultural tradition and, on the other, the Israeli culture penetrating along most diverse formal and informal channels. The paper raises the question about the relationship between the presentation of this culture and its consumption; between its creation and recreation in response to the changing post-modern society. Commentaries have also been offered as to how this situation contributes to the formation of the collective Jewish identity, giving precedence to the ethnic.

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