Topics: Tourism, Educational Tours, Jewish Neighbourhoods, Jewish Heritage, Memory, Main Topic: Culture and Heritage
Abstract: In this thesis I am analysing how transnational tourism observes, narrates and sells the historical Jewish District of Budapest, Hungary. This urban space is a landscape of a specific memory, which has been constructed and shaped by different actors throughout the past half century. I argue that with the post socialist transformations this urban space became structured by and around Jewish identity and the experience of the Holocaust. I explore it through the study of walking tours, which constitute certain practices of place making. I show that the commoditisation of urban space physically reduces the territory of the District to a number of streets, which simultaneously turns into a sacred Jewish space for selective memories. Furthermore, at the same time it becomes an international enterprise with a positive meaning where new foreign heroes have emerged, nostalgia has been created for an idealised past and a selective amnesia is imposed for memories related to the Soviet past.