By Jackie Feldman
Israeli adolescence voyages to Poland are some of the most well known and influential different types of transmission of Holocaust reminiscence in Israeli society. via in depth player statement, staff discussions, pupil diaries, and questionnaires, the writer demonstrates how the kingdom shapes Poland right into a dwelling deathscape of Diaspora Jewry. throughout the voyage, scholars suffer a ceremony de passage, within which they're reworked into sufferers, positive survivors, and at last witnesses of the witnesses. by means of viewing, touching, and smelling Holocaust-period ruins and continues to be, via accompanying the survivors at the websites in their discomfort and survival, crying jointly and acting commemorative ceremonies on the loss of life websites, scholars from a wide selection of family members backgrounds develop into vendors of Shoah reminiscence. they arrive to work out the country and its security because the romanticized resolution to the Shoah. those voyages are a bureaucratic reaction to uncertainty and fluidity of id in an more and more globalized and fragmented society. This learn provides a measured and compassionate moral voice to ideological debates surrounding academic and cultural types of encountering the previous in modern Israel, and increases additional questions on the illustration of the Holocaust after the dying of the final residing witnesses.
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Additional info for Above The Death Pits, Beneath The Flag. Youth Voyages to Poland and the Performance of Israeli National Identity
I will observe how the language of intergenerational family transmission renders the national collective natural and almost genetic. Insofar as students indeed come to describe themselves as witnesses, the microscopic investigation of the voyage may explain how Israeli youths come to renarrate their lives as having been constituted by historical events prior to their birth. Previous Research on the Poland Voyages Although the youth voyages to Poland only began in the mid 80s, research on the voyages, though still meager, reflects a range of approaches to Holocaust memory in general.
The Kasztner trial in 1954 resulted in further political fragmentation of Holocaust memory and marked an escalation in the use of Holocaust rhetoric to further partisan goals of Israeli political parties. Throughout the trial, the prosecution insisted that armed resistance was the only legitimate option in the struggle against the Nazis. The Haredim, on the other hand, lit upon the disclosures of the Kasztner trial in order to demonize their opponents, secular Zionists, accusing them of complacency and even complicity in their willingness to sacrifice avak adam (human dust) for the establishment of the State (Friedman 1990: 110–112).
Certainly, the Israeli society of the 1940s did not want to hear of the experience of the survivors. Although some scholars see the State and, in particular, Ben Gurion’s attitude as cynical manipulation (Zertal 1998), undoubtedly, guilty feelings of the yishuv, over their inaction or helplessness during the Holocaust, contributed significantly to the desire to repress those memories (Weitz 1990: 149; Yablonka 1994: 58). ” As Dan Bar-On noted (1994: 31), “The model of the ‘tzabar’ dominated Israeli culture of the 1940’s and 1950’s.