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Jewish Representations of the Holocaust in Czechoslovakia after 1945

Between state taboo and Jewish duty to remember: The "Jewish commemoration“ of the Second World War and the Holocaust is the center of focus of this dissertation project. Spanning a relatively long time interval, from 1945 until the 1990s, the examination will focus on the changing opportunities, forms and thresholds of this minority culture of remembrance in a communist state. By doing so it will be possible to elaborate the semantic continuities and changes as well as the discursive regularities and breaks: What was the relation between the national policy on history in socialist Czechoslovakia, the culture of remembrance of the majority of society and the Jewish form of remembrance? Where were the similarities and differences between the antifascist and resistance-oriented picture of history on the one hand and the – for a long time – inconspicuous discussion of the Czechoslovakian Jews concerning the Shoah on the other hand, and above all: where can reciprocal references and dependencies be identified?

The approach of this project intends to expand the often politically- and historically-oriented analysis of cultures of remembrance by including a "social history of memory" (Peter Burke) which allows taking into account the assorted "communities of memory" which are simultaneously in contact and in conflict with each other.

 

Peter Hallama

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