By Jackie Feldman
Israeli formative years voyages to Poland are the most well known and influential different types of transmission of Holocaust reminiscence in Israeli society. via extensive player commentary, workforce discussions, pupil diaries, and questionnaires, the writer demonstrates how the kingdom shapes Poland right into a residing deathscape of Diaspora Jewry. throughout the voyage, scholars endure a ceremony de passage, within which they're reworked into sufferers, positive survivors, and at last witnesses of the witnesses. through viewing, touching, and smelling Holocaust-period ruins and continues to be, via accompanying the survivors at the websites in their pain and survival, crying jointly and acting commemorative ceremonies on the dying websites, scholars from a wide selection of relatives backgrounds develop into vendors of Shoah reminiscence. they arrive to determine the nation and its security because the romanticized resolution to the Shoah. those voyages are a bureaucratic reaction to uncertainty and fluidity of identification in an more and more globalized and fragmented society. This examine provides a measured and compassionate moral voice to ideological debates surrounding academic and cultural types of encountering the earlier in modern Israel, and increases additional questions on the illustration of the Holocaust after the death of the final dwelling 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
While the paradigm of hurban lige’ulah is in keeping with Jewish tradition, its application to the nation-state accords with founding events in many modern nations, where founding myths which ground national identity in death and destruction are often promoted by leaders and elites, in order to suffuse national loyalties with religious passion (Kertzer 1988; Kapferer 1988; Mosse 1990). Zionism, especially political Zionism of the variety espoused by Ben Gurion, saw itself as a secular salvation, designed to solve problems of existence in the modern world, forsaking expectation for divine liberation (Cohen 1995: 203).
9. In addition, as long as anthropology (and Israeli anthropology in particular) focused on the distant other, the Shoah was not considered exotic enough to merit study. 10. 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.
These dimensions are internalized through bodily practices, rather than through a process of argumentation, intellectualization, or reflection (cf. Connerton 1989). The leitmotif of the Ministry of Education’s statement of purpose is the phrase “to feel and to try to understand” (Director General’s Circular 1991). Experience is at the heart of the trip, and that experience takes form through the time, space, and performance of the voyage. 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.
Above The Death Pits, Beneath The Flag. Youth Voyages to Poland and the Performance of Israeli National Identity by Jackie Feldman