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Date: 2015
Abstract: Approximately one-third of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust were murdered in what Father Patrick Desbois has called the ‘Holocaust by bullets’ – mass shootings that largely took place across Eastern Europe in thousands of forests, villages, streets, and homes. In many instances, German perpetrators and their local collaborators eliminated entire communities in a matter of days or even hours.

And yet these Killing Sites remain relatively unknown, both in regional histories and in the larger remembrance of the Holocaust. With the passing of both survivors and witnesses, efforts are underway by a range of actors who are determined to locate and preserve these sites and to name their unidentified victims.

Recognizing the importance and urgency of this work, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) launched a Multi-Year Work Plan project on Killing Sites in 2011 to raise public awareness, offer support and expertise to diverse initiatives in this field, encourage further research, and pursue commemoration for educational purposes. As the first milestone of this plan, IHRA experts convened a major international conference on Killing Sites in Krakow on January 22–23, 2014.

As this volume reveals, the ambitious program brought together an impressive mix of organizations, scholars, and experts who examined a range of subjects, including the state of current research; promising pilot projects; complex national and religious legal issues; developments in forensic archaeology; and regional efforts to integrate Killing Sites into educational curricula, among others. Just as important, however, the Krakow conference highlighted the challenges that remain and the vital importance of the work that must still be done.

This publication includes nineteen articles based on the papers presented at the conference, reflecting both research and fieldwork. The participants in this book share with each other and with the reader the various challenges that they have faced, as well as their successes or lack thereof in overcoming obstacles. They tell of challenges of identifying mass Killing Sites; tracing the story of each site; legal, Halakhic (Jewish law), cultural, and political issues; efforts to involve local people and authorities as well as national authorities in the preservation and commemoration of these sites; conflicting memories that could lead to distorted commemoration, as discussed for example by Father Jacek Waligóra; or a desire to forget the events and the mass killings in some cases.
Author(s): Ben-Moshe, Danny
Date: 2015
Date: 2015
Abstract: The subject of mental formation of an image about the Other brings together and creates a relationship between areas seemingly not in an obvious connection, such as Cultural Anthro- pology, Imagology, Sociology, and the area of Communication Studies. In other words, the essence of intercultural communication and research is understanding how cultures, subcultures, or, better said, groups generally communicate to others and among themselves. Because any communication is fundamentally intercultural, it means accepting the Other, understanding the cultural game differences and different ways of thinking. Having the central focus of analysis on imagology and ethno-psychology, the theme of the research is to show how the Jewish community of Romania has built their auto-image and hetero-image in recent years. This contributes to observing the construction of identity through multiple attributions that make a differentiating picture. The study aims to show how the identity and alterity are built through images about the Self and images about the Other. This type of analysis has been applied in various ways to different ethnic or cultural communities, as members issued their own perceptions of the world and of alterity, conceptualized through images and symbols. Images about ourselves and about the others have an important role in social construction and they result of, and depend on, how we relate and communicate with the Other. If the socio-mythical-economic portrait of the “Jew” has been so far widely discussed in Andrei Oişteanu’s work (2004), which is based on the stereotypical image of the Jews in European culture until the early 1970s – 1980s, this paper tries to illustrate how the image of the Romanian Jewish community is being perceived today. This research is part of a larger study dealing with life stories as means of intercultural communication and has as a central point the stories of the Shoah survivors.

Translated Title: On a new antisemitic moment
Author(s): Birnbaum, Pierre
Date: 2015
Date: 2015
Abstract: My presentation will draw on the oral history of the Portuguese Jewish Community in XXI century using family histories and life stories of three generations in Portugal, particularly from the Jewish Community of Lisbon. The images that you are seeing here are from the synagogue of Lisbon, called “Shaaré Tikva” or ‘Gates of Hope’, from the beginning of the XX century, that has a symbolic meaning in the history of the Portuguese Jewish Community, in a country that is mainly Catholic by religion. This synagogue is a reflex of the social and historical relationship that was developed over centuries: the synagogue is in one of the main streets of the capital city, but at the time it could not be visible from the street because it was not Catholic. Today I will present the outcome of an anthropological, sociological and historical study over three generations of Portuguese Jews, especially focused on the history of the Sephardim and Ashkenazim in and out of Portugal from the XV century until the present day. I used an ethnographic methodology, doing an extensive ethnographic fieldwork for two years, that allowed me to do an oral reconstruction of their life stories and family memories until modern times, debating issues such as nation, belonging, religion and the meaning of being a Portuguese Jew nowadays. The reconstruction of their history is done taking in account the national and transnational narratives of Europe, Middle-East, Africa and America. It is my intention to contribute for an understanding of the national identity in Portugal and within Europe in a time when questions such as the right of belonging or living is becoming an important part of the public and private discourses.