Abstract

Mothering and motherhood figure prominently in the personal narratives of women survivors of the Holocaust. In contrast, men identified as father figures are conspicuously absent from both women's and men's personal narratives, and fatherhood plays a relatively minor role in male narratives. This study argues that the paucity of references to fatherly behavior is attributable to a combination of factors. Gender is an important factor in determining the actual ordeals men and women faced as well as the ways in which they interpreted and narrated those events. While there is evidence that some survivors believed Jewish masculinity and paternal authority to have been called into question by the destruction of Jewish families in the Holocaust, gendered narrative construction appears to account for much of the disparity between father and mother figures

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Additional Information

ISSN
1565-5288
Print ISSN
0793-8934
Pages
pp. 155-182
Launched on MUSE
2007-06-04
Open Access
No
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