Topics: Main Topic: Other, Circumcision / Brit Milah, Newspapers, Magazines and Periodicals, Media, National Identity, Islam, Islamophobia, Antisemitism, Jewish - Non - Jewish Relations, Body
Abstract: The circumcision debate in Germany in 2012 is an exemplary case for symbolic struggles over national boundaries. The debate became a site for the negotiation of traditions practiced by religious minorities. We ask, first, how the clinical gaze constitutes Muslim and Jewish others. Second, we investigate how ‘writing around’ the debate’s center, bodily integrity, became meaningful through analogies to other practices said to harm it. We compare newspaper coverage in Germany, Israel and Turkey, and reveal transnational discursive dynamics that transgress national boundaries. We show how ‘otherness’ of Muslims and Jews remains present in a self-perceived secular, liberal imaginary.
Abstract: Mediation at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin offers a novel approach to thememorial and its study through the focus on performances. Based on extensiveethnographic research, and drawing on dramaturgic theory, memory studies andtheories of the public sphere, the book offers a fresh theorization of memorialexperience by analyzing interaction between guides, memorial workers and visitors.Moving away from models of postmemory and post trauma approaches, the bookrecognizes the precariousness and variation of memory work done at the memorialthrough the ways visitors engages with the act of remembrance rather than with itsobject, namely the history of Jewish persecution and the Holocaust. This engagementexplores how visitors present and perform their 'moral career' at the site, whosecodes have been shaped by knowledge about and visits in this and other sites of Holocaust remembrance
Topics: Main Topic: Holocaust and Memorial, Memory, Holocaust Commemoration, German-Jewish Relations, Museums
Abstract: This paper looks at how historical museums in Germany that are not Holocaust or Jewish museums represent Jews. It examines the permanent and temporary exhibitions, as well as their visitors’ experiences, at the two largest national and state-sponsored historical museums: the House of History in Bonn and the German Historical Museum in Berlin. I first analyze the ways in which Jewish symbols and images of Jews tell the story of the Holocaust’s aftermath in those museums. The article then focuses on a temporary exhibition, ‘Shalom: Three Photographers See Germany,’ at the Bonn House of History (August 2015–June 2016). I suggest that the exhibitions create directed viewing, whereby the visitors look at Jews and project the experience of viewing Holocaust images. I argue that as they are presented and viewed in the ‘Shalom’ exhibition, Jews undergo temporal displacement whereby their subject position and possible roles both in remembering and in being remembered are limited. I conclude by showing that Jews, as well as other Holocaust victim groups and migrant groups in Germany today, are not equal subjects of memory, meaning both that their subjectivity as participants in the public sphere is limited to specific roles, times and spaces, and that inter-subjective communication about their representation is limited.
Abstract: Is the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin a Jewish space? How are Jews presented there? What are the points of interest about Jews in the memorial from the perspective of the foundation that runs it as well as from various visitors' perspectives? This article focuses on interaction and performance at the memorial, an understudied topic in comparison to what the memorial presents in its installation and the debates that preceded its realisation. I argue that the memorial's form and location create interpretation strategies that are based on the dialectics of representation and non-representation, emotional experience versus knowledge about the Holocaust. This is differently manifested in the action of various groups visiting the memorial. Interpretation strategies rest on Jews being a category of memory. In substantiating this claim, I focus on the experience of German visitors, compared to that of Jewish visitors and claim that whereas Jews' experience of the site is directly linked to sharing intimate knowledge about the Holocaust, Germans tend to talk about the site metaphorically and in emotional terms, confirming the memorial's own ontology.