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Author(s): Wynn, Natalie
Date: 2017
Date: 2016
Abstract: Focusing on three contemporary grassroots initiatives of preserving Jewish heritage and commemorating Jews in Belarus, namely, the Jewish Museum in Minsk, Ada Raǐchonak’s private museum of regional heritage in Hermanovichi, and the initiative of erecting the monument of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda in Hlybokae, the present article discusses how local efforts to commemorate Jews and preserve Jewish heritage tap into the culture of political dissent, Belarus’s international relations, and the larger project of redefining the Belarusian national identity. Looking at the way these memorial interventions frame Jewish legacy within a Belarusian national narrative, the article concentrates in particular on the institution of the public historian and the small, informal social networks used to operate under a repressive regime. Incorporating the multicultural legacy of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth into the canon of Belarusian national heritage and recognizing the contribution of ethnic minorities to the cultural landscape of Belarus, new memory projects devoted to Jewish history in Belarus mark a caesura in the country’s engagement with its ethnic Others and are also highly political. While the effort of filling in the gaps in national historiography and celebrating the cultural diversity of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania overlaps in significant ways with the agenda of the anti-Lukashenka opposition, Jewish heritage in Belarus also resonates with the state authorities, who seek to instrumentalize it for their own vision of national unity.
Date: 1991
Abstract: We recently addressed the following statement and questions on the strength and nature of anti-Semitism in the 1990s to a number of Jews and non-Jews throughout the world:

Talk of a ‘revival’ or ‘resurgence’ of anti-Semitism is now commonplace. This seems to be the result of developments in the former USSR and in Eastern and Central Europe since 1989, but also of increasing reports of anti-Semitic incidents taking place throughout Western Europe and similar problems emerging in North America, South America, Australia and South Africa.
1) How serious is the recent ‘resurgence’ of anti-Semitism? Is this in any sense a global phenomenon? Is talk of a ‘revival of antisemitism’ justified?
2) What are in your view the most important contemporary manifestations of anti-Semitism? Should anti-Semitism still mainly be seen as a phenomenon of extreme right- and left-wing politics and ideology, or is contemporary anti-Semitism more seriously present in popular culture, within political and social élites, in the school playground?
3) What role, if any, do you think the conflict between Israel and the Arab world is playing in fostering anti-Jewish sentiment? How important is the emergence of Islamic fundamentalism in this context? To what extent is anti-Semitism today taking the guise of anti-Zionism?
4) Finally, if there is indeed an upsurge in antiswemitism, what do you think are its major causes? What part is nationalism, particularly in the Commonwealth of Independent States and in Eastern and Central Europe, playing in causing or exacerbating contemporary anti-Semitism? Do you agree that there was until recently a post-Holocaust taboo on anti-Semitism that has now been lifted? 

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