Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

The editors gratefully acknowledge the Stiftung niedersächsische Gedenkstätten Bergen-Belsen in Germany and The School of Social Sciences and Human Services of Ramapo College of New Jersey for their support during the early and later stages of production of this volume. We also...

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Introduction: Henri Lustiger Thaler with the collaboration of Habbo Knoch

Henri Lustiger and Habbo Knoch

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pp. 1-14

This volume brings together a collection of diverse reflections on witnessing and memory. Primary witnessing, in its various forms and genres—from survivor and bystander testimonies to memoirs and diaries—informs our cultural understanding of the multiple subjective experiences...

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1. The Afterdeath of the Holocaust

Lawrence L. Langer

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pp. 15-30

In the summer of 1964, I found myself in a Munich courtroom at the trial of SS General Karl Wolff, adjutant to Heinrich Himmler and liaison to Hitler. Nearly twenty years after the war, he was charged with responsibility for the deportation of more than 300,000 Jews from the...

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2. Witnesses and Witnessing: Some Reflections

Annette Wieviorka

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pp. 31-53

Just like a personal experience, a testimony can communicate the discourse, or discourses, emerging in society about the events experienced by witnesses. Testimonies of the postwar period are different from those of today: different things are being said and there are diverging expectations...

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3. Halakhic Witnessing: The Auschwitz Memoir of Berish Erlich

Henri Lustiger Thaler

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pp. 54-80

Primo Levi was a chronicler of things seen at close hand. He sensitized us to the complex and serrated mnemonic landscapes of the Holocaust. Levi resituated an act of witnessing by directing our attention to the proverbial “first witness” embodied in the drowned, the perished. Scholars would...

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4. Memoirs Not Forgotten: Rabbis Who Survived the Holocaust

Esther Farbstein

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pp. 81-104

The publishing of memoirs of Holocaust survivors, and the testimonies they have submitted to various institutions, have become a widespread phenomenon since the 1980s. The singular voice of the individual, in the context of the Holocaust, opens a door into the complex layers of human...

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5. “Solidarity and Suffering”: Lager Vapniarka among the Camps of Transnistria

Leo Spitzer

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pp. 105-130

Early in the summer of 1941, as a reward for Romania’s material support and military alliance with Nazi Germany in the war against the Soviet Union, Adolf Hitler promised his counterpart Führer, the Conducator Marshal Ion Antonescu, Romanian control of conquered territory east of...

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6. Interview with Father Patrick Desbois

Henri Lustiger Thaler

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pp. 131-143

Father Patrick Desbois is director of the Episcopal Committee for Relations with Judaism. He has been internationally recognized for his extraordinary effort in uncovering the mass graves of Jews in Eastern Europe. He is Secretary of the French Conference of Bishops for Relations...

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7. The Flight and Evacuation of Civilian Populations in the USSR: New Sources, New Publications, New Questions

Paul A. Shapiro

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pp. 144-167

An important book by Canadian scholar Rebecca Manley, published in 2009, estimated the number of refugees and evacuees in the USSR who moved or were moved from west to east, from immediate danger to possible survival, in the period from June 1941 to the end of 1942 at some...

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8. Ravensbrück Women’s Concentration Camp: Memories in Situ

Insa Eschebach

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pp. 168-191

Memorials are “stages for socially recognized and official commemorative practices.” They “do not merely represent the mainstream of memorial culture,” but also sanction and canonize certain interpretations of history. 1 Memorials are therefore also agents of memorialization processes...

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9. The Belzec Memorial and Museum: Personal Reflections

Michael Berenbaum

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pp. 192-217

Kenneth Keniston, the author of Young Radicals and The Uncommitted, once noted that pure objectivity does not exist in the social sciences. The most we can hope for is for writers to admit to their subjective biases and for the reader to compensate accordingly. I admit that I can fall victim to...

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10. Locating Loss: The Physical Contexts of Genocide Memorials

Paul Williams

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pp. 218-234

This essay concentrates on what I consider a particularly productive context for analyzing the role and significance of memorial museums: their geography and sense of place.1 The site-specific nature of most memorial museums—standing on ground where an atrocity took place—makes an...

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Contributors

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pp. 235-238

Michael Berenbaum is a writer, lecturer, and conceptual developer of museums and historical films. He is director of the Sigi Ziering Institute at the American Jewish University. He was president and chief executive officer of the Survivors Shoah Visual History Foundation and the director...

Index

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pp. 239-254