By Jackie Feldman

Israeli early life voyages to Poland are probably the most renowned and influential sorts of transmission of Holocaust reminiscence in Israeli society. via in depth player remark, crew discussions, pupil diaries, and questionnaires, the writer demonstrates how the country shapes Poland right into a dwelling deathscape of Diaspora Jewry. through the voyage, scholars endure a ceremony de passage, during which they're remodeled into sufferers, successful survivors, and at last witnesses of the witnesses. through viewing, touching, and smelling Holocaust-period ruins and is still, through accompanying the survivors at the websites in their affliction and survival, crying jointly and acting commemorative ceremonies on the dying websites, scholars from a large choice of kin backgrounds develop into providers of Shoah reminiscence. they arrive to work out the kingdom and its safety because the romanticized resolution to the Shoah. those voyages are a bureaucratic reaction to uncertainty and fluidity of identification in an more and more globalized and fragmented society. This research provides a measured and compassionate moral voice to ideological debates surrounding academic and cultural kinds of encountering the earlier in modern Israel, and increases additional questions on the illustration of the Holocaust after the loss of life of the final dwelling witnesses.

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Extra resources for Above The Death Pits, Beneath The Flag. Youth Voyages to Poland and the Performance of Israeli National Identity

Sample text

I could predict the essential content of the historical explanations, the locale for ceremonies within the death camps, and the positioning of flags and symbols there, as well as when to expect expressions of emotion, fatigue, or indifference. Thus, I could focus my attention on outbursts of crying, laughing, or violence, the play in ludic “decompression” times (singing, shopping), listen to some of the small-group conversations, or question students on their thoughts and feelings, without worrying that I would miss some essential part of the big picture.

At noon when shadows are hidden beneath our feet, or at twilight When shadows lengthen like longings that have no beginning, no end, like God? (Yehuda Amichai, “Who Shall Remember the Rememberers”, verse 3, in Open, Closed, Open, (translated by Chana Bloch and Chana Kronfeld), Harcourt: Orlando, Florida, pp. 169-70) 02-Ch2:Feldman1 3/18/08 11:53 AM Page 30 CHAPTER 2 The Historical and Social Context of Israeli Shoah Commemoration The first Ministry of Education youth voyages to Poland date from only 1988.

He characterizes the voyage ceremonies as a cult consisting entirely of emotions and symbols, and sometimes bizarre adoration of kitsch and death. Segev claims that the voyages strike a responsive chord among Israeli youth searching for “identity with roots” with a mini- 01-Ch1 1/16/08 20 11:40 AM Page 20 Above the Death Pits, Beneath the Flag mum of personal or moral obligation. While my research confirms his observations on the ideological thrust of the voyage organizers, the reasons he advances for youths’ enthusiastic response to this trip are not grounded in ethnography.

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