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Ilan Avisar

Bio: Ilan Avisar is an academic researcher. The author has contributed to research in topics: The Holocaust & Judaism. The author has an hindex of 1, co-authored 1 publications receiving 2 citations.

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01 Jan 1985
TL;DR: The appropriation of the Holocaust into the Israeli national consciousness has always been problematic and painful as mentioned in this paper, and it was difficult to overcome their sense of massive victimization during World War II and reconcile it with the pride and assertiveness that followed the impressive triumphs and accomplishments of the young Jewish state.
Abstract: The appropriation of the Holocaust into the Israeli national consciousness has always been problematic and painful. Following the realization of the Jewish state in 1948, the quest for cultural identity prompted only a reserved and diffident identification with Jewish history. Most Israelis viewed themselves as being the antithesis of the perennially homeless and persecuted Diaspora Jews. In particular, it was difficult to overcome their sense of massive victimization during World War II and reconcile it with the pride and assertiveness that followed the impressive triumphs and accomplishments of the young Jewish state. To be sure, the catastrophe of European Jewry and the building of a homeland in the land of Israel constitute two parallel courses in modern Jewish history, the former being the cataclysmic harvest of millennia of antisemitism whereas the latter was the culmination of a national revival inspired by the rise of modern western nationalism. The creation of Israel had little to do with the effects of the Holocaust. The temporal proximity of these two crucial events might invite metaphysical conjectures about their combined meaning, but historians usually agree that there was no significant causal linkage between the Nazi atrocities and Jewish independence. 1 The popular misconception of Israel as having arisen out of the ashes of Auschwitz has no historical grounds and is not shared by most Israelis. But the country has gone through some dramatic changes in its attitude toward the historical trauma, ranging from complete rejection to an identification of contemporary situations with the past predicament. In addition, specific events and developments, such as

2 citations


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01 Jan 1987
TL;DR: The authors pointed out that the focus on a child's partial understanding helps alleviate the adult narrator's struggle with language and artistic expression, for the young character's incomprehension serves to indicate the incomprehensibility of the catastrophe.
Abstract: Treatments of the Holocaust in imaginative literature share and pose a fundamental dilemma: how to assimilate the unimaginable into the imagination; how to find a language commensurate with the enormity of events that transpired in the Shoah. That these are difficulties to be reckoned with has become an axiomatic tenet of criticism dealing with literary responses to disaster. Less attention, though, has been paid to another phenomenon: the number of novels which devise an approach to the subject by adopting a child's point of view and limited perception of historical events. In such works as Aharon Appelfeld's The Age of Wonders, Uri Orlev's The Lead Soldiers, Ilse Aichinger's Herod's Children, and to some extent Elie Wiesel's Night or Andre Swartz-Bart's The Last of the Just, focus on a child's partial understanding helps alleviate the adult narrator's struggle with language and artistic expression, for the young character's incomprehension serves to indicate the incomprehensibility of the catastrophe.

2 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors analyzed the results of that survey and how it was used by Yad Vashem to begin a dialogue with Israeli schools over how the Holocaust should be taught and found that Israeli students were far more likely to study the Holocaust through their literature readers than their history textbooks.
Abstract: In March 1960, Yad Vashem, in partnership with the Israeli Ministry of Education, surveyed Israeli school principals about Holocaust education and observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day in their schools. This article analyzes the results of that survey and how it was used by Yad Vashem to begin a dialogue with Israeli schools over how the Holocaust should be taught. In particular, the survey reveals that Israeli students were far more likely to study the Holocaust through their literature readers than their history textbooks. Finally, it shows that the Eichmann trial only accelerated changes in Holocaust education that had already begun.

2 citations