In this Book

Primary witnessing, in its original forms-from survivor and bystander testimonies, to memoirs and diaries-inform our cultural understanding of the multiple experiences of the Holocaust. Henri Lustiger Thaler and Habbo Knoch look at many of these expressions of primary witnessing in Witnessing Unbound: Holocaust Representation and the Origins of Memory, which is particularly relevant today with the hastening decline of the Holocaust survivor demographic and the cultural spaces for representation it leaves in its wake, in addition to the inevitable and cyclical search for generational relevancy, siphoned through acts of memory. The essays in Witnessing Unbound are written by some of the leading figures on the theme of witnessing as well as scholars exploring new primary sources of knowledge about the Holocaust and genocide. These include a focus on the victims: the perished and survivors whose discursive worlds are captured in testimonies, diaries, and memoirs; the witnessing of peasant bystanders to the terror; historical religious writing by rabbis during and after the war as a proto memoir for destroyed communities, and the archive as a solitary witness, a constructed memory in the aftermath of a genocide. The experiences showcased and analyzed within this memorializing focus introduce previously unknown voices, and end with reflections on the Belzec Memorial and Museum. One survivor moves hearts with the simple insight, "I died in Auschwitz, but no one knows [sees] it." In counterpoint is a court case with SS General Karl Wolff, who has conveniently forgotten his crimes during the Holocaust. Original experience and its reimagination within contemporary frameworks make sense of an event that continues to adapt and change metaphorically and globally. As one of the contributors writes: "In my mind, the 'era of the witness' begins when the historical narrative consists of first-person accounts." Witnessing Unbound augers in the near completion of that defining era, by introducing a collection of diverse reflections and mediations on witnessing and memory. A must-read for the further understanding of the Holocaust, its cruel reality, and its afterdeath.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Introduction: Henri Lustiger Thaler with the collaboration of Habbo Knoch
  2. Henri Lustiger and Habbo Knoch
  3. pp. 1-14
  4. restricted access Download |
  1. 1. The Afterdeath of the Holocaust
  2. Lawrence L. Langer
  3. pp. 15-30
  4. restricted access Download |
  1. 2. Witnesses and Witnessing: Some Reflections
  2. Annette Wieviorka
  3. pp. 31-53
  4. restricted access Download |
  1. 3. Halakhic Witnessing: The Auschwitz Memoir of Berish Erlich
  2. Henri Lustiger Thaler
  3. pp. 54-80
  4. restricted access Download |
  1. 4. Memoirs Not Forgotten: Rabbis Who Survived the Holocaust
  2. Esther Farbstein
  3. pp. 81-104
  4. restricted access Download |
  1. 5. “Solidarity and Suffering”: Lager Vapniarka among the Camps of Transnistria
  2. Leo Spitzer
  3. pp. 105-130
  4. restricted access Download |
  1. 6. Interview with Father Patrick Desbois
  2. Henri Lustiger Thaler
  3. pp. 131-143
  4. restricted access Download |
  1. 7. The Flight and Evacuation of Civilian Populations in the USSR: New Sources, New Publications, New Questions
  2. Paul A. Shapiro
  3. pp. 144-167
  4. restricted access Download |
  1. 8. Ravensbrück Women’s Concentration Camp: Memories in Situ
  2. Insa Eschebach
  3. pp. 168-191
  4. restricted access Download |
  1. 9. The Belzec Memorial and Museum: Personal Reflections
  2. Michael Berenbaum
  3. pp. 192-217
  4. restricted access Download |
  1. 10. Locating Loss: The Physical Contexts of Genocide Memorials
  2. Paul Williams
  3. pp. 218-234
  4. restricted access Download |
  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 235-238
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Index
  2. pp. 239-254
  3. restricted access Download |

Additional Information

MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.