Abstract

Paper Clips, a prize-winning 2004 Miramax documentary directed by Elliot Berlin and Joe Fab about a Holocaust collecting project that culminated in the Children’s Holocaust Memorial in Whitwell, Tennessee, strives to do necessary and well-intentioned memory work. However, it also illuminates culturally overdetermined forms of forgetting and self-fashioning that too often accompany Holocaust memorialization in white, Christian communities. Paper Clips exemplifies the ways in which Holocaust education can unwittingly foster competing victimization narratives between blacks and Jews, sanitize both European and U.S. history, and serve subtle but pernicious forms of supersessionism. This essay argues that ethically responsible Holocaust memorialization in the twenty-first century requires critical analysis of the specifically Christian and Jewish desires addressed by such a popular documentary.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 30-49
Launched on MUSE
2014-06-28
Open Access
No
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