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Author(s): Tollerton, David
Date: 2020
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.
Author(s): Subotic, Jelena
Date: 2019
Abstract: Yellow Star, Red Star asks why Holocaust memory continues to be so deeply troubled—ignored, appropriated, and obfuscated—throughout Eastern Europe, even though it was in those lands that most of the extermination campaign occurred. As part of accession to the European Union, Jelena Subotić shows, East European states were required to adopt, participate in, and contribute to the established Western narrative of the Holocaust. This requirement created anxiety and resentment in post-communist states: Holocaust memory replaced communist terror as the dominant narrative in Eastern Europe, focusing instead on predominantly Jewish suffering in World War II. Influencing the European Union's own memory politics and legislation in the process, post-communist states have attempted to reconcile these two memories by pursuing new strategies of Holocaust remembrance. The memory, symbols, and imagery of the Holocaust have been appropriated to represent crimes of communism.

Yellow Star, Red Star presents in-depth accounts of Holocaust remembrance practices in Serbia, Croatia, and Lithuania, and extends the discussion to other East European states. The book demonstrates how countries of the region used Holocaust remembrance as a political strategy to resolve their contemporary "ontological insecurities"—insecurities about their identities, about their international status, and about their relationships with other international actors. As Subotić concludes, Holocaust memory in Eastern Europe has never been about the Holocaust or about the desire to remember the past, whether during communism or in its aftermath. Rather, it has been about managing national identities in a precarious and uncertain world.
Author(s): Alexander, Phil
Date: 2019
Abstract: Silence appears frequently in discourses of the Holocaust – as a metaphorical absence, a warning against forgetting, or simply the only appropriate response. But powerful though these meanings are, they often underplay the ambiguity of silence’s signifying power. This article addresses the liminality of silence through an analysis of its richly textured role in the memorial soundscapes of Berlin. Beyond an aural version of erasure, unspeakability, or the space for reflection upon it, I argue that these silent spaces must always be heard as part of their surrounding urban environment, refracting wider spatial practices and dis/order. When conventions are reversed – when the present is silent – the past can resound in surprising and provocative ways, collapsing spatial and temporal borders and escaping the ritualized boundaries of formal commemoration. This is explored through four different memorial situations: the disturbing resonances within the Holocaust Memorial; the transgressive processes of a collective silent walk; Gleis 17 railway memorial’s opening up of heterotopic ‘gaps’ in time; and sounded/silent history in the work of singer Tania Alon. Each of these examples, in different ways, frames a slippage between urban sound and memorial silence, creating a parallel symbolic space that the past and the present can inhabit simultaneously. In its unpredictable fluidity, silence becomes a mobile and subversive force, producing an imaginative space that is ambiguous, affective and deeply meaningful. A closer attention to these different practices of listening disrupts a top-down, strategic discourse of silence as conventionally emblematic of reflection and distance. The contemporary urban soundscape that slips through the silent cracks problematizes the narrative hegemony of memorial itself.
Date: 2019
Abstract: Aim. This paper analyses the inherent paradoxes of Jewish-Polish relations. It portrays the main beliefs that construct the contradicting narratives of the Holocaust, trying to weigh which of them is closer to the historic truth. It seeks for an answer to the question whether the Polish people were brothers-in-fate, victimized like the Jews by the Nazis, or if they were rather a hostile ethnic group.

Concept. First, the notion of Poland as a haven for Jews throughout history is conveyed. This historical review shows that the Polish people as a nation have always been most tolerant towards the Jews and that anti-Semitism has existed only on the margins of society. Next, the opposite account is brought, relying on literature that shows that one thousand years of Jewish residence in Poland were also a thousand years of constant friction, with continuous hatred towards the Jews. Consequently, different accounts of World War II are presented – one shows how the Polish people were the victims, and the others deal with Poles as by-standers and as perpetrators.

Results and conclusion. Inconsistency remains the strongest consistency of the relations between Jews and Poles. With the unresolved puzzle of whether the Polish people were victims, bystanders or perpetrators, this paper concludes with some comments on Israeli domestic political and educational attitudes towards Poland, that eventually influence collective concepts.

Cognitive value. The fact that the issue of the Israeli-Polish relationship has not been deeply inquired, seems to attest to the reluctance of both sides to deal with what seems to form an open wound. At the same time, the revival of Jewish culture in Poland shows that, today more than ever, the Polish people are reaching out to Israelis, and are willing to deal with history at an unprecedented level. As Israelis who wish to promote universal values, a significant encounter with the Polish people may constitute a door to acceptance and understanding of others. Such acceptance can only stem from mutual discourse and physical proximity between the two peoples.
Author(s): Griffiths, Toni
Date: 2018
Abstract: This thesis critically examines the public representation of medieval Anglo-Jewish history today through a cross-section of medieval Anglo-Jewish communities which act as case studies; Winchester, York, Norwich, Bristol, and Northampton respectively. These case studies frame the investigation of issues associated with the limited and often contested archaeological evidence relating to England’s medieval Jews, as well as the frequent tendency of contemporary public facing history to focus on the negative aspects of medieval Jewish life, notably by highlighting persecution and victimisation. It also analyses the development of the most recent public facing interpretations of medieval Anglo-Jewish history in each location, which have been deliberately chosen to provide a range of towns and cities which contain evidence of alleged medieval Jewish human remains.

The assessment of key stakeholders in the public representation of medieval Anglo-Jews was central to this study, and as such this thesis carefully considered the roles of various stakeholders in the preservation and representation of medieval Anglo-Jewish history and memory. Within this thesis, each stakeholder had a valid voice in the assessment of how the history and memory of England’s medieval Jews had been treated and represented. Decolonialist research methodologies were herein utilised in order to fully address the complexities of the various voices of stakeholders; from the perspectives of individuals, communities, and organisations, through a sensitive approach towards respectful interviewing and data collection. This thesis, therefore, provides a uniquely rounded interpretation of stakeholder involvement and investment in how medieval Anglo-Jewish communities are remembered today.

The history and memory of medieval Anglo-Jews has been subject to periods of omission and marginalisation, with the study of medieval Jewish history often hindered by a lack of sources on everyday life. This thesis contributes to the increasingly multi- and inter-disciplinary study of England’s medieval Jews through the application of Death Studies, offers new hypotheses based on traditional Jewish approaches to death ritual and burial practice, and provides fresh insights into aspects of medieval Jewish life with a focus on the dead. 
Date: 2006
Abstract: Que font les petits-enfants de l’histoire et des valeurs de leurs grands-parents quand ceux-ci ont connu l’immigration et traversé des épreuves majeures ? Comment tracent-ils leur propre chemin entre la fidélité au passé de leur famille, les tâches du présent, la préoccupation de transmettre à leurs enfants leurs références identitaires ? Comment se passent d’une génération à l’autre les traumatismes et les valeurs ? Quel regard les descendants des immigrés portent-ils sur leur histoire familiale ? Comment assument-ils la difficile responsabilité d’en témoigner ? Comment construisent-ils leur identité et leur place dans la société ? Les auteurs présentent et analysent vingt-cinq entretiens qu'ils ont menés avec des petits-enfants de Juifs venus de Pologne, qui ont connu l'exil, la difficile intégration en France, la guerre et la Shoah, les bouleversements historiques du XXe siècle. Deux entretiens réalisés en Pologne les complètent. A travers des récits de vie intense, les auteurs proposent une réflexion originale sur ces questions dont l'actualité récente en Europe a montré l'importance des enjeux individuels, sociaux, politiques. Ils éclairent aussi des aspects méconnus du judaïsme. A une époque où les migrations tendent à devenir un phénomène généralisé, où les guerres et les génocides se multiplient, les auteurs souhaitent contribuer à une réflexion sur le devenir des immigrés et de ceux qui ont été confrontés à un traumatisme historique majeur, et sur l'aide qu'ils pourraient recevoir.
Date: 2019
Abstract: La disparition de la quasi-totalité des Juifs de Pologne pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale est due à leur assassinat systématique par les Allemands. Mais que sait-on des comportements de la population polonaise ? La paix revenue, que sont devenus les derniers survivants ? Que nous dit aujourd’hui l’irruption de ce passé dans la société polonaise ? Comment vivre avec la mémoire d’Auschwitz, de Treblinka, de Belzec, autant de mémoriaux situés en Pologne ?
Depuis une quinzaine d’années, des historiens de ce pays ont montré combien il était difficile aux Juifs qui tentaient d’échapper aux tueurs de trouver appui auprès des populations locales, surtout en milieu rural, tant en raison de la politique de terreur menée par l’occupant que de l’hostilité de la société polonaise à l’égard des Juifs. Leurs travaux font désormais autorité dans le monde entier. Pourtant, depuis quelques années, les autorités de Varsovie mettent en œuvre une « politique historique » qui vise à minorer, voire à nier, la participation de franges importantes de la population polonaise à la traque des Juifs.

Sur place, malgré les embûches et les intimidations, les historiens travaillent, publient, organisent des colloques, forment des étudiants. Les auteurs réunis dans cet ouvrage témoignent de la vitalité de cette historiographie. Faire connaître aujourd’hui la fécondité scientifique et la portée critique de la nouvelle école historique polonaise est une exigence intellectuelle, morale et politique.
Author(s): Blacker, Uilleam
Date: 2014
Date: 2015
Author(s): Duch-Dyngosz, Marta
Date: 2015
Abstract: Warto zwrócić uwagę na przestrzenie lokalne – przedwojenne sztetle, małe miejscowości zamieszkiwane przed wojną przez liczne społeczności żydowskie. To w nich wyraźniej widać następstwa Zagłady. Po wojnie przestały istnieć tam całe wspólnoty żydowskie, a po ich wielowiekowej obecności pozostały domy, sklepy, przed-mioty codziennego użytku; wojnę przetrwało, choć w różnym stanie, żydowskie dziedzictwo materialne – dawne synagogi, cmentarze, książki, przedmioty kultu religijnego. Wielu badaczy wskazuje na fakt, że nieżydowscy mieszkańcy odnieśli korzyści na skutek Holokaustu – przejęli majątki należące kiedyś do Żydów oraz pozycje społeczne zajmowane kiedyś przez nich Ten fakt, jak również namacalność Zagłady w przestrzeniach dawnych sztetli(masowe groby, niezamknięte getta, egzekucje) i różne postawy wobec ludobójstwa oraz jego ofiar miały wpływ na kondycję tworzących się po wojnie społeczności – szczególnie w wymiarze tożsamościowym. Następstwa Zagłady złożyły się na ramy trudnej przeszłości, które do dziś kształtują postawy wobec Żydów oraz pamięć o Holokauście w dawnych sztetlach. Co ważne, przestrzenie te zachowały w dużym stopniu swój urbanistyczny układ – do dziś stoją tam przedwojenne domy i kamienice, pozostały też elementy żydowskiego dziedzictwa materialnego – najczęściej dawne synagogi oraz żydowskie cmentarze. Pamięć o wojnie, o dawnych sąsiadach, o postawach członków grupy własnej jest wciąż podtrzymywana jako część lokalnego kontekstu.
Date: 2015
Author(s): Lehrer, Erica
Date: 2012
Date: 2002
Abstract: The debate about Jan Tomasz Gross’s Neighbors (2000) in which the author gave a detailed description of the collective murder of the Jewish community of Jedwabne by its ethnic Polish neighbors on July 10, 1941, has been the most important and longest-lasting in post-communist Poland. The publication of Neighbors raised important issues such as the rewriting of the history of Polish-Jewish relations during the Second World War, of modern national history, and the reevaluation of the collective self-image of Poles themselves as having been solely victims. The article places the discussion within the context of two approaches to the collective past—first, the self-critical approach that challenges the old, biased representation of Polish-Jewish relations and the Polish self-image
as victims; and second, the defensive approach that seeks to maintain the older representations of Polish-Jewish relations and the Polish self-image. A general description of the debate is presented, followed by an analysis of
its various stages and dynamics. The conduct of the investigation by the Institute of National Memory (IPN) into the Jedwabne massacre and the official commemoration on the sixtieth anniversary of the crime are two crucial events that demonstrate that important segments of the Polish political and cultural elite are capable of overcoming its dark past. At the same time, reactions of the right-wing nationalist political and cultural elites and their supporters reveal that the defensive approach continues to exert influence in public life. Only time will tell if this latter phenomenon
will become marginal.