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Author(s): Lyapov, Filip
Date: 2023
Abstract: Bulgarian Jews to a large extent escaped the horrors of the Holocaust, yet their opposition to the antisemitic policies of Bulgarian governments during the war led a disproportionate number of them to join left-wing opposition groups and eventually perish in the anti-fascist struggle. Fallen Jewish partisans, relatively well-known during the socialist period, were nevertheless commemorated first and foremost as communists, rather than as heroes from one of Bulgaria's minorities. The communist post-war regime's reluctance to recognize Jewish anti-fascist activity separately and the mass exodus of Bulgarian Jews to Israel, as well as the persistent antisemitism within the Eastern Bloc, all contributed to the marginalization of the memory of Jewish anti-fascism before the collapse of communism. The 1989 transition resulted in further neglect of Jewish suffering and martyrdom as the very premise of their heroic actions – anti-fascism – was erased and replaced by the new anti-communist mnemonic canon. Post-1989 Bulgaria even gradually rehabilitated controversial figures from the pre-1944 ruling elite by virtue of their anti-communist credentials. Curiously, a single fallen female Jewish partisan, Violeta Yakova, has received public attention that has evaded her fellow martyrs. Her name resurfaced as Bulgarian nationalists began organizing the annual Lukov March – a torch-lit procession commemorating a pro-fascist interwar general assassinated by Yakova. The case of the Bulgarian-Jewish partisan can therefore provide a much-needed revisiting of the way that Jewish anti-fascism has been commemorated and reveal the complex dynamics of contemporary memory politics, antisemitism, and right-wing populism in Bulgaria.
Author(s): Otova, Ildiko
Date: 2024
Abstract: In recent years, the fate of the Jews in Bulgaria during the Second World War has aroused the research interest of humanities scholars from various disciplines, with a number of studies published (see e.g., and many of the following cited (Avramov 2012. “Спасение” и падение. Микроикономика на държавния антисемитизъм в
България, 1940–1944 [“Rescue” and fall. Microeconomics of State Anti-semitism in Bulgaria, 1940–1944]. Sofia: Sofia University “St. Kl. Ohridski; Daneva 2013; Krsteva 2015; Koleva 2017)). Many rely on research on the construction of memory. At the same time, fewer research efforts seem to have focused on how the topic has become politicized in the years since 1989 (see e.g. Benatov 2013. “Debating the Fate of Bulgarian Jews during
World War II.” In Bringing the Dark Past to Light the Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Europe, edited by John-Paul Himka, and Joanna Beata Michlic, 108–31. University of Nebraska Press; Ragaru 2020. Et les Juifs bulgaresfurent sauvе…Une histoire des savoirs sur la Shoah en Bulgarie. Paris: Science Po). The aim of this paper is to offer precisely this perspective on the topic of non/rescue, and in the last ten years. Politicization has traditionally been understood as the process of attributing salience to an issue of public interest through various channels such as political discourse and media, and in the presence of the multiple and diverse opinions associated with it (deWilde, Pieter. 2011. “No polity for old politics? A framework for analyzing the politicization of European
integration.” Journal of European Integration 33 (5): 559–75; de Wilde, Pieter, Anna Leupold, and Henning Schmidtke. 2016. “Introduction: the differentiated politicisation of European governance.” West European Politics 39 (1): 3–22). In some texts on the politicization of the migration crisis in Bulgaria in the years since 2012, the author shows how a topic can be politicized in the absence of political debate and in the context of a dominant
populist understanding, multiplied by various power actors – politicians, institutions, media and intellectuals (see e.g. Otova, Ildiko, and Evelina Staykova. 2022. Migration and Populism in Bulgaria. London: Routledge). For the purposes of this paper, by politicization the author will understand the blurring of ideological differences of interpretations of who the savior is in a populist consensus around the construction of the rescue narrative
for foreign policy use, but mostly as a nation-building narrative. The focus of this article is on the last ten years, in which the political interpretations and actions surrounding the commemoration of the 70th in 2013 and 75th in 2018 and the 80th anniversary in 2023 of the events surrounding the so-called rescue of Bulgarian Jews are particularly interesting. It is during these last years that populism has become the norm for the political scene in Bulgaria. Populism is not the obvious entrance to the topic, but it is the political framework within which the politicization of the topic of the rescue is developing, and a possible theoretical entrance. Populism became a persistent part of Bulgarian political life more than a decade after the beginning of the democratic changes of 1989. There are
several key factors involved in this process-exhaustion of the cleavages of the transition period, but especially the transformation of party politics into symbolic ones (Otova, Ildiko, and Evelina Staykova. 2022. Migration and Populism in Bulgaria. London: Routledge). Symbolic politics deal more with emotions and less with ratio and facts;
they build narratives that are often nationally affirming. The article does not claim to be exhaustive, especially in its presentation of historical facts. The limits of this rather political science approach are many. On the other hand, however, it adds to the research effort with a missing glimpse into the interpretations of the no/rescue theme and could open the field for further in-depth research.
Date: 2022
Date: 2024
Date: 2024
Abstract: This article examines the relationship between the Far Right and Holocaust memory politics in the Netherlands through an in-depth analysis of the antisemitic and conspiratorial discourse of far-right politician Thierry Baudet and his party, Forum for Democracy (FvD). While the FvD positioned themselves as a victim of establishment politics from the outset, the party used their opposition to government COVID-19 policies to bolster the image of themselves as victim of state power as well as Jewish conspiracies.

This article argues that Baudet’s Holocaust relativization and his criticism of the evolving character of Dutch Holocaust memory are intimately tied to his and the FvD’s antisemitic worldview, in which Jews are to blame for the decline of a mythologized white, Christian Dutch nation. In this context, the FvD used Holocaust analogies on social media, in the Dutch parliament, and during rallies to simultaneously accuse Jews of exploiting a victim identity for moral legitimacy and to contest the government’s acknowledgment of Dutch collaboration and inclusion of Jewish experiences into a broader national narrative of the Second World War. In posing these challenges to the status of the Holocaust in contemporary memory politics, Baudet and the FvD attempt to rewrite Dutch history with the white, Christian population as the true bearers of Dutch heritage and identity. Examining the character and normalization of Holocaust relativization in a country still lauded internationally for its tolerance despite its delayed process of ‘coming to terms’ with its Holocaust past demonstrates the centrality of memory politics to far-right ideologies.
Date: 2023
Author(s): Brunssen, Pavel
Date: 2023
Abstract: The European soccer clubs FC Bayern Munich, Austria Vienna, Ajax Amsterdam, and Tottenham Hotspur (London) are known as “Jew Clubs,” although none of them is explicitly Jewish. This study approaches the conundrum of identity performances, (e.g., Jew as self and “Jew” as other) from a transnational perspective. Using the “Jew Clubs” as case studies, I unpack the connection between collective memories and identity formations in post-Holocaust societies through the lens of sports. With the help of a wide range of primary sources and archival material such as fanzines, fan performances, street art, photographs, films, monuments, and museums, this study illustrates how soccer cultures function as a key site for the construction of collective memories and collective identities. As such, this dissertation joins the extant and growing international scholarship on sport and fan cultures, popular culture, Judaic studies, memory cultures, performance studies, museum studies, and German studies. The work also enhances our understanding of antisemitism, philosemitism, and gentile-Jewish relationships. Chapter 1 examines the “Jew Club” as memory culture and provides a detailed analysis of FC Bayern Munich’s “rediscovery” of its German-Jewish former club president Kurt Landauer in the early 21st century. By analyzing how the club’s turn to Landauer overshadowed the club’s role in expelling its Jewish members, this chapter puts forward the argument that memory is always also a form of forgetting. Chapter 2 illustrates how the “Jew Club” FK Austria Vienna (FAK) functions as a “cultural code,” that, in the interwar period, became associated with stereotypically “Jewish” features such as modernity, cosmopolitanism, and rootlessness. It analyzes the puzzling case of a “Jew Club” that is now supported by a neo-Nazi fan base. Finally, this chapter claims that a new “cultural code” emerges, as the club embraces its “Jew Club” identity to counter neo-Nazi fans. Chapter 3 assesses the “Jew Club” as fan performance. It analyzes how Ajax Amsterdam’s supporters developed their identity as “Super Jews” in reaction to the antisemitic taunts by rival fans. The chapter is grounded in a thorough discussion of fan and club cultures, as well as the transformations of Dutch memory culture and Dutch antisemitism. It argues that fan performances offer a particular opportunity to engage with the unmastered history of the Holocaust. Chapter 4 addresses the “Jew Club” as a problem by discussing the case of Tottenham Hotspur. It analyzes the debates about Spurs fans’ appropriation of the term “Yid,” which had previously been used by antisemitic rival supporters. This chapter introduces a new model of linguistic appropriation, which alters our understanding of linguistic reclamation. Ultimately, by engaging Jewish perspectives, it argues that the “Jew Club” offers a unique space for anti-antisemitic agency. The conclusion summarizes the findings of this study, identifies the similarities and differences among the four case studies, and applies the study’s results to reconsider the concept of a “(negative) German-Jewish symbiosis.” In essence, this study illuminates the ways sport clubs and fan cultures perform memory cultures and thus function as an important societal arena for constructing collective identities. The work clarifies the common features and distinctive characteristics of “Jew Clubs” from a transnational perspective. It shows how “soccer” serves as a contested space for questions of identity, subjectivity, and belonging, with implications reaching far beyond the stadium gate.
Date: 2023
Abstract: Holocaust memory in Europe is shifting and diversifying, often in conflicting ways. This report is the culmination of a comparative and multidisciplinary study aimed at exploring these contemporary shifts in Holocaust memory in five European countries that played very different roles during the Holocaust, and whose post-WWII histories differed too: Poland, Hungary, Germany, England and Spain.

The study took place from 2019-2022 and offers a snapshot of Holocaust memory at the start of the 21st century. In addition to the rise of far-right political parties, antisemitic incidents and crises around immigration and refugees, this period was also overshadowed by the Covid pandemic and its ensuing economic instability. Our central guiding question was: How do experiences of the present relate to the memory of the Holocaust? Do they supersede it, leading to the gradual fading from memory of the mass-murder that shook the twentieth century? Do they reshape it, shedding new light on its lessons? Is the meaning assigned to present-day events shaped by its metaphors and symbols, or perhaps the present and the past engage in multidirectional dialogue over diverse memory platforms?

To explore this question and other questions about the extent to which Holocaust memory is present in European public discourses, the circumstances in which it surfaces, and the differences in its expressions in the countries we examined, we focused on three complementary domains that serve as memory sites: the public-political, Holocaust education and social media.

We used a between/within analysis matrix of the countries and the domains, to understand how Holocaust memory is expressed in these countries. We found that while the memory of the Holocaust remains alive, in some places
it is struggling for relevance. A common memory practice that surfaced across domains was “relationing the Holocaust,” a variant of multidirectional memory. We also found that a distinguishing aspect of Holocaust memory relates to the political left-right identification of subgroups within countries. There were also interactions
between domains and countries, for example, in the countries we explored in Western Europe, teachers’ attitudes about the Holocaust corresponded to those of their political establishment, but this was not the case in Central and Eastern Europe.

This report is intended for Holocaust and memory scholars, educators, commemorators, policymakers, journalists and anyone interested in deciphering the complex intersections of past and present. The report culminates with a series of recommendations for various policymakers, NGOs, educational organizations and social media moderators.
Author(s): Hughes, Judith M.
Date: 2022
Author(s): Schult, Tanja
Date: 2010
Abstract: Raoul Wallenberg is widely remembered for his humanitarian activity on behalf of the Hungarian Jews in Budapest at the end of World War II, and is known as the Swedish diplomat who disappeared into the Soviet Gulag in 1945. While he successfully combated Nazi racial extermination politics, he fell victim to Stalinist communism – yet another barbaric, totalitarian regime of the 20th century.

Given Wallenberg’s biography, his mission and his unresolved fate it is no wonder that Wallenberg became a figure of mythic dimensions. It is the mixture of heroics and victimhood, as well as the seemingly endless potential of possible adaptations that secures this historic figure and his mythic after-narratives its longevity. While it is without doubt the man behind the myth who deserves credit – first the man’s realness gives the myth credibility – it is the myth that secures the man’s popularity. The man and his myth depend on each other.

In this article, I will give an overview of how Wallenberg was perceived and described by survivors, in popular scholarly literature, how he has been researched by historians, and how he has been presented in different media. It will become apparent that the narrators have sought to satisfy different needs, e.g. psychological, political, and commercial ones. The narrators’ intention and attitude towards the historic person and the myth which surrounds him is of primary importance. I will show how different approaches to, and uses of, the myth exist side by side and nourish one another. And yet they can all simultaneously claim existence in their own right. By providing examples from different times and places, I like to illustrate that the popular images of Wallenberg are far less one-sided, stereotypical and homogeneous than they are often portrayed and hope to draw attention to the great potential that the Wallenberg narrative has today, as his 100th anniversary approaches in 2012.
Date: 2018
Author(s): Turner, Michael
Editor(s): Masanori, Nagaoka
Date: 2020
Abstract: Kristallnacht, 1938, was a defining moment, changing the course of history. Can the Jewish heritage destroyed before and during World War II be reconstructed? This paper will link eschatological thought and the relevant Mishnaic texts, in particular the value of holiness and its attributes both in time and place. Can a synagogue be de-sanctified? Is the value in the material or the use?

Reviewing these tragic events, the possible criteria for reconstructing the architectural components of Jewish life should be considered, through the evidence of history, the record of events, values of the past, and the new realities of the future. Another significant concern is not so much in understanding the changing and diverse values of a community but the approaches toward the interpretations of these values. In this debate, where existential or historical models play a major role, Judaism tends toward the former, recalling events over time and the allegory in the facts.

What remained in Europe were the ruins, the memory of places and events, and the resilience of the human spirit. However, there are compounded memories and multiple voices, ever changing, challenging the identities of real and virtual communities. How do we evaluate the facts and the extended contexts over time that demand renegotiation of their meaning and interpretation?

On current projections, the Jews may become an insignificant number in European society over the course of the twenty-first century. Can these buildings, as reconstructed, live without the spirit of the people; can new people inhabit the reconstructions, or is the ruin the true manifestation of the course of history? The divergent case studies of the three ShUM cities, Speyer, Worms, and Mainz, in Germany provide a glimpse into the debate and an appraisal of the moment in time.

There are common attitudes facing recovery and reconstructions for uprooted communities after tragedies that leave scars on history. The case studies of Jewish heritage reconstruction and the considerations of impermanence provide another perspective to the restorations of the Bamiyan Buddhas and together a chilling evidence to the consequences of racism.
Date: 2018
Abstract: Изучаются процессы десакрализации и фрагментации коллективной памяти о Холокосте в коллективных пред-ставлениях посетителей Государственного музея Аушвиц-Биркенау. Исследование этих процессов опирается на те-оретическую модель, разработанную в современной культурсоциологии, которая является наиболее сенситивнойпри обращении к вопросам, связанным с сакрализацией и осквернением мест памяти. Рассмотрены возможностиэкспликации основных положений культурсоциологии в теоретическую рамку Memory Studies, а также концептуа-лизации таких понятий, как оппозиция сакральное чистое / сакральное нечистое, коллективная память, культурнаятравма. Далее в ходе исследования раскрываются основные стратегии классификации Государственного музея Ауш-виц-Биркенау как сакрального и профанного места памяти, детализируется тенденция, связанная с десакрализаци-ей этого места и описания его в категориях профанного
Author(s): Gensburger, Sarah
Date: 2019
Date: 2019
Author(s): Rothberg, Michael
Date: 2022
Author(s): Rock, Jonna
Date: 2022
Author(s): Watson, Robert
Date: 2013
Date: 2022
Date: 2006