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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.
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: 2015
Date: 2015
Date: 2018
Author(s): Cohen, Barry
Date: 2018
Author(s): Kaymak, Özgür
Date: 2016
Abstract: Bu çalışmada İstanbul’un Rum, Yahudi ve Ermenilerinin Lozan Antlaşması’ndan sonra azınlık olarak kendi kimliklerini ve gündelik hayatlarını yeniden inşa etme süreçleri, tarihsel arka planı dikkate alarak, kolektif belleğin oluşumu ve kamusal/politik/özel alanın inşası çerçevesinde analiz edilmektedir. Bu bağlamda özetle, Cumhuriyetin kuruluşundan bugüne kadar gayrimüslim azınlıkların çoğunluktan farklı olan dini-etnik kimliklerinin kentteki inşa süreçleri, pratikleri ve bu inşa sürecini etkileyen dinamikler; eşit vatandaş ve azınlık olma arasında yaşadıkları siyasi ve sosyal çelişkiler; bu çelişkili durumlar karşısında ürettikleri kimlik stratejileri; hem devletle hem de geniş toplumla kurdukları ilişkiler gündelik hayat pratikleri üzerinden çözümlenmeye çalışılmıştır. İstanbul kentindeki “gayrimüslim-azınlık” kimliklerinin bu inşa süreci farklı kuşak, sosyal sınıf ve cinsiyet değişkenleriyle incelenmiştir. Tez çalışmasında İstanbul’un gayrimüslimlerinin yaşantılarını, deneyimlerini, azınlık olmaktan kaynaklı sorunlarını kendi seslerinden görünür hale getirebilmek amacıyla niteliksel araştırma tekniklerinden derinlemesine mülakat, odak grup ve sözlü tarih kullanılmıştır. Çalışmada İstanbul’un üç azınlık cemaatinin azınlık kimliklerinin oluşumunda kolektif belleklerindeki travmalar ve bu travmaların çeşitli stratejilerle kuşaklararası aktarımı; mekansal aidiyetlerini ve kimliklerini oluşturan tarihsel, kültürel ve iktisadi dinamikler; gayrimüslim azınlık kimliği ile uğranılan dışlanma ve ayrımcılıkların vatandaşlık ve ulusal aidiyetin oluşumu üzerindeki etkileri; kamusal, politik ve özel alanda gayrimüslim azınlık olmanın anlamı ve giderek azalan nüfusları ile İstanbul’da mekanda büzüşme ve dağılma halleri analiz edilmektedir. Tez çalışması, yukarıda açıklanan çerçevede üç cemaati, sınıf, cinsiyet ve kuşak kriterleri ile karşılaştırmalı olarak analiz etmeye olanak veren, niteliksel araştırma tekniklerinin kullanıldığı geniş ölçekli bir araştırmaya dayanmaktadır.
Date: 2013
Abstract: The ways in which memories of the Holocaust have been communicated, represented and used have changed dramatically over the years. From such memories being neglected and silenced in most of Europe until the 1970s, each country has subsequently gone through a process of cultural, political and pedagogical awareness-rising. This culminated in the ’Stockholm conference on Holocaust commemoration’ in 2000, which resulted in the constitution of a task force dedicated to transmitting and teaching knowledge and awareness about the Holocaust on a global scale. The silence surrounding private memories of the Holocaust has also been challenged in many families. What are the catalysts that trigger a change from silence to discussion of the Holocaust? What happens when we talk its invisibility away? How are memories of the Holocaust reflected in different social environments? Who asks questions about memories of the Holocaust, and which answers do they find, at which point in time and from which past and present positions related to their societies and to the phenomenon in question? This book highlights the contexts in which such questions are asked. By introducing the concept of ’active memory’, this book contributes to recent developments in memory studies, where memory is increasingly viewed not in isolation but as a dynamic and relational part of human lives.

Contents: Introduction: the Holocaust as active memory; Linking religion and family memories of children hidden in Belgian convents during the Holocaust, Suzanne Vromen; Collective trajectory and generational work in families of Jewish displaced persons: epistemological processes in the research situation, Lena Inowlocki; In a double voice: representations of the Holocaust in Polish literature, 1980-2011, Dorota Glowacka; Winners once a year? How Russian-speaking Jews in Germany make sense of WWII and the Holocaust as part of transnational biographic experience, Julia Bernstein; Women’s peace activism and the Holocaust: reversing the hegemonic Holocaust discourse in Israel, Tova Benski and Ruth Katz; ’The history, the papers, let me see it!’ Compensation processes: the second generation between archive truth and family speculations, Nicole L. Immler; From rescue to escape in 1943: on a path to de-victimizing the Danish Jews. Sofie Lene Bak; Finland, the Vernichtungskrieg and the Holocaust, Oula Silvennoinen; Swedish rescue operations during the Second World War: accomplishments and aftermath, Ulf Zander; The social phenomenon of silence, Irene Levin; Index.
Author(s): Bodemann, Y. Michal
Date: 2004
Abstract: mmediately after the Holocaust, it seemed inconceivable that a Jewish community would rebuild in Germany. What was once unimaginable has now come to pass: Germany is home to one of Europe’s most vibrant Jewish communities, and it has the fastest growing Jewish immigrant population of any country in the world outside Israel. By sharing the life stories of members of one Jewish family—the Kalmans—Y. Michal Bodemann provides an intimate look at what it is like to live as a Jew in Germany today. Having survived concentration camps in Poland, four Kalman siblings—three brothers and a sister—were left stranded in Germany after the war. They built new lives and a major enterprise; they each married and had children. Over the past fifteen years Bodemann conducted extensive interviews with the Kalmans, mostly with the survivors’ ten children, who were born between 1948 and 1964. In these oral histories, he shares their thoughts on Judaism, work, family, and community. Staying in Germany is not a given; four of the ten cousins live in Israel and the United States.
Among the Kalman cousins are an art gallery owner, a body builder, a radio personality, a former chief financial officer of a prominent U.S. bank, and a sculptor. They discuss Zionism, anti-Semitism, what it means to root for the German soccer team, Schindler’s List, money, success, marriage and intermarriage, and family history. They reveal their different levels of engagement with Judaism and involvement with local Jewish communities. Kalman is a pseudonym, and their anonymity allows the family members to talk with passion and candor about their relationships and their lives as Jews.
Author(s): Woolfson, Shivaun
Date: 2013
Abstract: Once regarded as a vibrant centre of intellectual, cultural and spiritual Jewish life, Lithuania was home to 240,000 Jews prior to the Nazi invasion of 1941. By war's end, less than 20,000 remained. Today, 4,000 Jews reside there, among them 108 survivors from the camps and ghettos and a further 70 from the Partisans and Red Army. Against a backdrop of ongoing Holocaust denial and a recent surge in anti-Semitic sentiment, this thesis presents the history and experiences of a group of elderly survivors in modern-day Vilnius through the lens of their stories and memories, their special places and their biographical objects. Incorporating interdisciplinary elements of cultural anthropology, social geography, psychology, narrative and sensory ethnography, it is informed, at its core, by an overtly spiritual approach. Drawing on the essentially Hasidic belief that everything in the material world is imbued with sacred essence and that we, as human beings, have the capacity through our actions to release that essence, it explores the points of intersection where the individual and the collective collide, illuminating how history is lived from the inside. Glimpses of the personal, typically absent from the historical record, are afforded prominence here: a bottle of perfume tucked into a pocket before fleeing the ghetto, a silent promise made beside a mass grave, a pair of shoes fashioned from parachute material in the forest. By tapping the material for meaning, a more embodied, emplaced, experiential level of knowing, deeper and richer than that achieved through traditional life history (oral testimony and written documents) methods, can emerge. In moving beyond words and gathering a bricolage of story, legend, artefact, document, monument and landscape, this research suggests a multidimensional historiography that is of particular relevance in grasping the lived reality of survivors in Lithuania where only the faintest traces of a once thriving Jewish heritage now remain.
Author(s): Woolfson, Shivaun
Date: 2014
Author(s): Frank, Fiona
Date: 2012
Abstract: This thesis casts new light on the immigrant experience, focusing on one extended Scottish Jewish family, the descendents of Rabbi Zvi David Hoppenstein and his wife Sophia, who arrived in Scotland in the early 1880s. Going further than other studies by exploring connections and difference through five generations and across five branches of the family, it uses grounded theory and a feminist perspective and draws on secondary sources like census data and contemporary newspaper reports with the early immigrant generations, oral testimony with the third and fourth generations and an innovative use of social networking platforms to engage with the younger generation. It explores Bourdieu’s theories relating to cultural and economic capital and the main themes are examined through the triple lens of generational change, gender and class. The thesis draws out links between food and memory and examines outmarriage and ‘return inmarriage’. It explores the fact that antisemitic and negative reactions from the host community, changing in nature through the generations but always present, have had an effect on people’s sense of their Jewish identity just as much as has the transmission of Jewish identity at home, in the synagogue, in Hebrew classes and in Jewish political, educational, leisure and welfare organisations. It makes an important link between gendered educational opportunities and consequent gendered intergenerational class shift, challenges other studies which view Jewish identity as static and illustrates how the boundary between ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’ is blurred: the Hoppenstein family offers us a context where we can see clearly how insider and outsider status can be self-assigned, ascribed by others, or mediated by internal gatekeepers.
Author(s): Lewkowicz, Bea
Date: 1999
Abstract: This study is an ethnographic account of the Jewish community of Thessaloniki and a description and analysis of oral histories gathered during my fieldwork in 1994. The thesis looks at the intersection of history, memory, and identity by analysing how identities and memories are shaped by historical experiences and how identities shape memories of historical experiences. Thessaloniki has undergone tremendous changes in the twentieth century. The demographic, political, and architectural landscape has radically altered. In the context of my thesis, the most relevant changes concern the ethnic and religious composition of Thessaloniki's population, the city's incorporation into the Greek nation-state (1912), the subsequent introduction of nationalism, and the annihilation of 48,000 Salonikan Jews during the Second World War. The thesis explores how these historical changes and 'events' are represented in individual narratives of Jews in Thessaloniki and in the realm of Jewish communal memory, how these historical changes have affected the formulations of Jewish communal and individual identity and memory, and how Jewish memory relates to the general landscape of memory in contemporary Greece. In chapters one and two, I discuss the theoretical framework and methodology of this thesis. Discussions on ethnicity, nationalism, memory, and certain themes of the 'anthropology of Greece' form the theoretical background of this study. The methodology applied consists of ethnographic fieldwork and in-depth interviewing. Chapter three presents a historical overview of the history of Thessaloniki and its Jewish community, and discusses the position of minorities in contemporary Greece. I describe the current structure and organisation of the community and look at some demographic developments of the Salonikan Jewish population in chapter four. I then proceed to a detailed account of the interviews which constitutes the main part of the thesis. Chapter five deals with the pre-war past, chapters six and seven with the experience of the war, and chapter eight with the post-war period. In chapter nine I look at perception of boundaries and notions of 'us' and 'them' among Salonikan Jews. In the conclusions, I examine the changes of post-war Jewish memorial practices in the context of the changing 'memory-scape' of the city of Thessaloniki.