Topics: Holocaust, Holocaust Commemoration, Holocaust Survivors, Holocaust Memorials, Holocaust Education, Main Topic: Holocaust and Memorial, Memory, National Identity
Abstract: To date, scholars have mainly focussed on the history of the Kindertransport. This thesis is the first to examine extensively how the Kindertransport has been remembered in Britain, and to compare British memory of this event with memory in the other English-speaking host nations which took in the refugee children (Kinder), namely America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. ‘Kindertransport’ is understood here as referring not just to the actual rescue of children with mainly Jewish origins from Nazism that took place between 1938 and 1940, but also the effects it had, such as transplantation to strange environments. There is yet to be a true exploration of how the memories of the Kinder and these nations’ memories of the Kindertransport developed. Any comparison of these various host countries must consider the degree to which memory of the Kindertransport is not uniform, and the extent to which it is shaped by factors such as the role of these countries in the Second World War, and – above all – nationally conditioned memory discourses. Increasingly, according to memory scholars, Holocaust memory operates in a transnational, even global network. This thesis will assess this expectation against the empirical evidence. Is it more the case that host nations remember the Kindertransport in essentially national terms, even where they are aware of its transnational history? In order to assess this question, this thesis will examine a representative cross-section of different genres including testimony, museum exhibitions, memorials, and novels. I argue that the Kindertransport is much more nationally focussed and celebratory in Britain than in other host nations, where this memory is more transnational in focus. However, there are signs that national memory in Britain is beginning to develop in a more self-critical direction.
Abstract: "Whilst being the home of the largest Jewish student community in the UK, Jsoc has been in fact struggling with attendance at many events for a few years. Jewish organisations, such as Chabad and Aish, now play a significant role in providing for and maintaining the needs for Jewish students. In March 2014, the Jewish Society created the first ever Nottingham Jewish Student Census. Led by Benjamin Carr, the aim of the project was to recalibrate the position of Jsoc on campus in order to attract larger numbers of students at its events and place it firmly in the centre of Jewish life on campus. With the guidance of the Union of Jewish Students and University Jewish Chaplaincy, an online survey was launched across social media encouraging students to have their say. This was also an opportunity to build a picture to find out exactly who are Nottingham Jewish Students. What part of the UK are they from? Do they keep shabbat at university? Do they live with other Jews? Issues of identity were not exclusively the remit of the exercise, practical considerations were also presented. How much would students be willing to spend on a Friday Night Dinner, if any? After 151 responses, the results were analysed by the Jewish society and provided direction for the future strategy of Jsoc. This research found that the general attitude towards the J-Soc in Nottingham was underwhelming, with many feeling that the absence of a Hillel House, or central Jewish building, had fragmented the Jewish organisations into competitors that had seen J-Soc take a less influential role. Furthermore, the survey highlighted that 58% of the sample felt that J-Soc could do more to be inclusive of all Jewish students, the highest of any Jewish organisation in Nottingham. It was also found that 66% of students were not willing to pay more than £5 to go to a Friday Night Dinner, a price which has since been addressed by the current J-Soc committee. Ultimately, this research provides rich data to explain how the Jewish student population in Nottingham felt that more can be done in the community to make it more inclusive, progressive and varied in what events are shown."