Download e-book for kindle: Above The Death Pits, Beneath The Flag. Youth Voyages to by Jackie Feldman

By Jackie Feldman

Israeli formative years voyages to Poland are the most well known and influential varieties of transmission of Holocaust reminiscence in Israeli society. via extensive player remark, workforce discussions, scholar diaries, and questionnaires, the writer demonstrates how the country shapes Poland right into a dwelling deathscape of Diaspora Jewry. through the voyage, scholars suffer a ceremony de passage, within which they're remodeled into sufferers, successful survivors, and at last witnesses of the witnesses. by way of viewing, touching, and smelling Holocaust-period ruins and is still, via accompanying the survivors at the websites in their anguish and survival, crying jointly and appearing commemorative ceremonies on the loss of life websites, scholars from a large choice of relations backgrounds develop into vendors of Shoah reminiscence. they arrive to determine the country and its protection because the romanticized resolution to the Shoah. those voyages are a bureaucratic reaction to uncertainty and fluidity of id in an more and more globalized and fragmented society. This research provides a measured and compassionate moral voice to ideological debates surrounding academic and cultural types of encountering the previous in modern Israel, and increases additional questions about the illustration of the Holocaust after the dying of the final residing witnesses.

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Extra info for Above The Death Pits, Beneath The Flag. Youth Voyages to Poland and the Performance of Israeli National Identity

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In the early years of the State, the Shoah was seen through the prism of the yishuv’s more immediate loss, those of the fighters in the War of Independence. Just as only the fighters of the Independence War were memorialized, to the detriment of the civilian dead (Sivan 1993: 355–367), so too, the ghetto fighters and partisans (especially those belonging to Zionist youth movements) often became the only roots in the Shoah past that official Statist culture could admit. At a Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony at Kibbutz Yad Mordechai in 1951, the poet and ghetto fighter Abba Kovner said: “I have no doubt that the same spirit that was witnessed in our War of Independence existed in the ghettos, and it may well be, that a liberated Israel was born in the last of the bunkers” (Kovner in 02-Ch2 1/16/08 11:41 AM Page 33 The Historical and Social Context of Israeli Shoah Commemoration 33 Barzel 1994).

These explanations rely on what Jeffrey Alexander calls “the psychoanalytic version of lay trauma theory” (Alexander et al. ). Thus, the original event combined with the anxiety keeping it repressed result in traumatic feelings and perceptions that only later surface to haunt the survivor. 11. There are some notable exceptions: see the exchange of articles between Boaz Evron and Yehuda Bauer in 1980 (cf. Michman 1997b), as well as the short article by Yehudah Elkanah in 1988 (see chapter 2, p. 39) and the articles by Adi Ofir and others in the July 1986 issue of Politika magazine.

Among young Israelis, the voyage to Poland may fill a void within the crisscrossing flows of postmodernity, in which a stable and meaningful anchor in the past may be sought for, but often seems impossible to grasp. The testimony of the survivors, however influenced by the ritual frame of the voyage, is also a cry for recognition, against forgetting. The narrative strategies of many guides and 01-Ch1 1/16/08 11:40 AM Page 25 Introduction and Methodology 25 their motivations for leading the trips reflect, not only a commitment to a Zionist mission, but their desire to transmit a story that legitimates an aspect of their own place in the world, as children of survivors.

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Above The Death Pits, Beneath The Flag. Youth Voyages to Poland and the Performance of Israeli National Identity by Jackie Feldman


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