Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Holocaust Related Abstracts

4 Reclaiming the Lost Jewish Identity of a Second Generation Holocaust Survivor Raised as a Christian: The Role of Art and Art Therapy

Authors: Bambi Ward

Abstract:

Children of Holocaust survivors have been described as inheriting their parents’ trauma as a result of ‘vicarious memory’. The term refers to a process whereby second generation Holocaust survivors subconsciously remember aspects of Holocaust trauma, despite not having directly experienced it. This can occur even when there has been a conspiracy of silence in which survivors chose not to discuss the Holocaust with their children. There are still people born in various parts of the world such as Poland, Hungary, other parts of Europe, USA, Canada and Australia, who have only learnt of their Jewish roots as adults. This discovery may occur during a parent’s deathbed confession, or when an adult child is sorting through the personal belongings of a deceased family member. Some Holocaust survivors chose to deny their Jewish heritage and raise their children as Christians. Reasons for this decision include the trauma experienced during the Holocaust for simply being Jewish, the existence of anti-Semitism, and the desire to protect one’s self and one’s family. Although there has been considerable literature written about the transgenerational impact of trauma on children of Holocaust survivors, there has been little scholarly investigation into the effects of a hidden Jewish identity on these children. This paper presents a case study of an adult child of Hungarian Holocaust survivors who was raised as a Christian. At the age of eight she was told about her family’s Jewish background, but her parents insisted that she keep this a secret, even if asked directly. She honoured their request until she turned forty. By that time she had started the challenging process of reclaiming her Jewish identity. The paper outlines the tension between family loyalty and individual freedom, and discusses the role that art and art therapy played in assisting the subject of the case study to reclaim her Jewish identity and commence writing a memoir about her spiritual journey. The main methodology used in this case study is creative practice-led research. Particular attention is paid to the utilisation of an autoethnographic approach. The autoethnographic tools used include reflective journals of the subject of the case study. These journals reflect on the subject’s collection of autobiographical data relating to her family history, and include memories, drawings, products of art therapy, diaries, letters, photographs, home movies, objects, and oral history interviews with her mother. The case study illustrates how art and art therapy benefitted a second generation Holocaust survivor who was brought up having to suppress her Jewish identity. The process allowed her to express subconscious thoughts and feelings about her identity and free herself from the burden of the long term secret she had been carrying. The process described may also be of assistance to other traumatised people who have been trying to break the silence and who are seeking to express themselves in a positive and healing way.

Keywords: Art, Holocaust, silence, hidden identity

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3 Understanding the Social Movements around the ‘Rohingya Crisis’ within the Political Process Model

Authors: Aklima Jesmin, Ubaidur Rob, M. Ashrafur Rahman

Abstract:

Rohingya population of Arakan state in Myanmar are one the most persecuted ethnic minorities in this 21st century. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), all human beings are born free, equal in dignity and rights. However, these populations are systematically excluded from this universal proclamation of human rights as they are Rohingya, which signify ‘other’. Based on the accessible and available literatures about Rohingya issue, this study firstly found there are chronological pattern of human rights violations against the ethnic Rohingya which follows the pathology of the Holocaust in this 21st century of human civilization. These violations have been possible due to modern technology, bureaucracy which has been performed through authorization, routinization and dehumanization; not only in formal institutions but in the society as a whole. This kind of apparently never-ending situation poses any author with the problem of available many scientific articles. The most important sources are, therefore the international daily newspapers, social media and official webpage of the non-state actors for nitty-gritty day to day update. Although it challenges the validity and objectivity of the information, but to address the critical ongoing human rights violations against Rohingya population can become a base for further work on this issue. One of the aspects of this paper is to accommodate all the social movements since August 2017 to date. The findings of this paper is that even though it seemed only human rights violations occurred against Rohingya historically but, simultaneously the process of social movements had also started, can be traced more after the military campaign in 2017. Therefore, the Rohingya crisis can be conceptualized within one ‘campaign’ movement for justice, not as episodic events, especially within the Political Process Model than any other social movement theories. This model identifies that the role of international political movements as well as the role of non-state actors are more powerful than any other episodes of violence conducted against Rohinyga in reframing issue, blaming and shaming to Myanmar government and creating the strategic opportunities for social changes. The lack of empowerment of the affected Rohingya population has been found as the loop to utilize this strategic opportunity. Their lack of empowerment can also affect their capacity to reframe their rights and to manage the campaign for their justice. Therefore, this should be placed at the heart of the international policy agenda within the broader socio-political movement for the justice of Rohingya population. Without ensuring human rights of Rohingya population, achieving the promise of the united nation’s sustainable development goals - no one would be excluded – will be impossible.

Keywords: Social Justice, Civilization, Social Movement, Holocaust, Human rights violation, Military Campaign, sustainable development goal, political process model, Rohingya population, strategic opportunity

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2 Redeeming the Self-Settling Scores with the Nazis by the Means of Poetics

Authors: Liliane Steiner

Abstract:

Beyond the testimonial act, that sheds light on the feminine experience in the Holocaust, the survivors' writing voices first and foremost the abjection of the feminine self brutally inflicted by the Nazis in the Holocaust, and in the same movement redeems the self by the means of poetics, and brings it to an existential state of being a subject. This study aims to stress the poetics of this writing in order to promote the Holocaust literature from the margins to the mainstream and to contribute to the commemoration of the Holocaust in the next generations. Methodology: The study of the survivors' redeeming of self is based on Julia Kristeva's theory of the abject: the self-throws out everything that threatens its existence and Liliane Steiner's theory of the post- abjection of hell: the belated act of vomiting the abject experiences settles cores with the author of the abject to redeem the self. The research will focus on Ruth Sender's trilogy The Cage, To Life and The Holocaust Lady as a case study. Findings: The binary mode that characterizes this writing reflects the experience of Jewish women, who were subject(s), were treated violently as object(s), debased, defeminized and, eventually turned into abject by the Nazis. In a tour de force, this writing re-enacts the postponed resistance, that vomited the abject imposed on the feminine self by the very act of narration, which denounces the real abject, the perpetrators. The post-abjection of self is acted out in constructs of abject, relating the abject experience of the Holocaust as well as the rehabilitation of the surviving self (subject). The transcription of abject surfaces in deconstructing the abject through self- characterization, and in the elusive rendering of bad memories, having recourse to literary figures. The narrative 'I' selects, obstructs, mends and tells the past events from an active standpoint, as would a subject in control of its (narrative) fate. In a compensatory movement, the narrating I tells itself by reconstructing the subject and proving time and again that I is other. Moreover, in the belated endeavor to revenge, testify and narrate the abject, the narrative I defies itself, and represents itself as a dialectical I, splitting and multiplying itself in a deconstructing way. The dialectical I is never (one) I. It voices not only the unvoiced but also and mainly the other silenced 'I's. Drawing its nature and construct from traumatic memories, the dialectical I transgresses boundaries to narrate her story, and in the same breath, the story of Jewish women doomed to silence. In this narrative feat, the dialectical I stresses its essential dialectical existence with the past, never to be (one) again. Conclusion: The pattern of I is other generates patterns of subject(s) that defy, transgress and repudiate the abject and its repercussions on the feminine I. The feminine I writes itself as a survivor that defies the abject (Nazis) and takes revenge. The paradigm of metamorphosis that accompanies the journey of the Holocaust memoirist engenders life and surviving as well as a narration that defies stagnation and death.

Keywords: Holocaust, abject, feminine writing, post-abjection

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1 The Women's Orchestra and Music in Auschwitz-Birkenau: A Qualitative Study on Nazi Manipulation

Authors: K. T. Kohler

Abstract:

Typically in war, force involves physical violence, though those who perpetrated the Holocaust expanded manipulation techniques to include mental violence. This qualitative research study was conducted to understand the effects that the music of the Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz-Birkenau had on women prisoners during World War II. Over 100 testimonies from the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive reveal that the orchestra’s music had a profoundly distressing effect on many of the women in the camp. Led by Gustav Mahler’s granddaughter, Alma Rosé, the orchestra rhythmed the life cycle of the camp, from marching to and from work, Sunday concerts, welcoming transports, to the prisoners’ walk to gas chambers. What surfaced from these testimonies was that the more technical the exposure a woman had to music before camp, the more disturbing its effect. The juxtaposition of beauty with the visible horror of the camp thrust them into an impossible state where suicide became a plausible alternative. By exploiting the Women’s Orchestra, the Nazis made music a critical component of manipulation within Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Keywords: Music, Holocaust, Poland, concert, Alma Rosé, Auschwitz-Birkenau, camp life, Oświęcim, women’s orchestra

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