Intergenerational Responses to Social and Political Changes: Transformation of Jewish Identity in Hungary
Topics: Haredi / Strictly Orthodox Jews, Family and Household, Jewish Education, Age and Generational Issues, Main Topic: Identity and Community
Abstract: Jewish identity in the diaspora has always had its problematic sides, particularly in the last 100 years. As a consequence of factors such as secularization, the erosion or dissolution of traditional communities, and rapid assimilation processes, Jewish identity became more problematic, and its borders and definitions more vague, doubtful, or flexible. Definitions of “being a Jew” were relativized; they became various points on a scale that may range from belonging to a ritual community, to a distinct ethnic, religious and/or linguistic group, through belonging to more or less well-defined subcultures and/or traditions, to the point where no Jewish identity exists at all.
Topics: Haredi / Strictly Orthodox Jews, Family and Household, Jewish Education, Age and Generational Issues, Oral History and Biography, Main Topic: Other
Abstract: How do three generations of families live today with the family and the collective past during the Nazi period? What influences do this past of the first generation, and its own ways of dealing with it, have upon the lives of its offspring and on the ways in which the latter come to terms with their family history? These are the general empirical questions put forward by our current research (Rosenthal, 1998).1 The specific focus of our study lies in comparing different family constellations based on whether the first generation can be categorized as victims, perpetrators, or Nazi followers during the Nazi period. Particularly from a sociological perspective, we also investigate how biographically different family histories after 1945—in Israel, in West Germany (FRG), and in the former East Germany (GDR)—affect the process of transmission from one generation to the next. In three generations of Jewish and non-Jewish German and Israeli families, we examine the process by which the family history is passed down through the generations. The aim is to reconstruct constellations in life stories that may facilitate the psychological and social integration of people burdened with a threatening collective and family past.