By Jackie Feldman
Israeli adolescence voyages to Poland are the most well known and influential varieties of transmission of Holocaust reminiscence in Israeli society. via extensive player remark, crew discussions, pupil diaries, and questionnaires, the writer demonstrates how the kingdom shapes Poland right into a residing deathscape of Diaspora Jewry. through the voyage, scholars endure a ceremony de passage, within which they're remodeled into sufferers, positive survivors, and eventually witnesses of the witnesses. by means of viewing, touching, and smelling Holocaust-period ruins and is still, by way of accompanying the survivors at the websites in their affliction and survival, crying jointly and appearing commemorative ceremonies on the dying websites, scholars from a wide selection of relations backgrounds turn into vendors of Shoah reminiscence. they arrive to work out the kingdom and its security 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 learn provides a measured and compassionate moral voice to ideological debates surrounding academic and cultural different types of encountering the prior in modern Israel, and increases extra questions on the illustration of the Holocaust after the dying of the final dwelling witnesses.
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Additional resources for Above The Death Pits, Beneath The Flag. Youth Voyages to Poland and the Performance of Israeli National Identity
Bell 1992). There have been, however, several scholars who have analyzed Holocaust commemoration from a performative point of view. : 171–199). Several articles treat the performative aspects and changing social significance of the ceremonies for Holocaust Memorial Day and Memorial Day for the Fallen at national commemorative sites (Handelman 1990; 2004a: 101–117) and in Israeli schools (Ben-Amos and Beit-El 1994; 1999; 2003; cf. LomskyFeder 2003). Both venues provide models for ceremonies that are held in Poland, while the school ceremonies are also primary occasions for voyage veterans to perform an act of transmission of memory upon their return from their voyage.
Among young Israelis, the voyage to Poland may fill a void within the crisscrossing flows of postmodernity, in which a stable and meaningful anchor in the past may be sought for, but often seems impossible to grasp. The testimony of the survivors, however influenced by the ritual frame of the voyage, is also a cry for recognition, against forgetting. The narrative strategies of many guides and 01-Ch1 1/16/08 11:40 AM Page 25 Introduction and Methodology 25 their motivations for leading the trips reflect, not only a commitment to a Zionist mission, but their desire to transmit a story that legitimates an aspect of their own place in the world, as children of survivors.
Given Zionism’s project of territorializing Jewish history, why, then, does the State Ministry of Education promote a voyage outside the territory of the homeland? Does this reflect a change in the Zionist conception of the Jewish past, a diasporization of Israel (Cohen 1995)? How do the Poland voyages relate to processes of global youth culture, increased ethnic awareness, and the post-Zionist erosion of Israeli myths and devalorization of mythicized pioneering, military, and frontier landscapes?