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Showing papers in "History & Memory in 2000"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Forging the nation's collective memory is an integral part of the process of nation building as discussed by the authors and the powerful link between history and memory is especially salient in the educational system, which is responsible for implanting knowledge and values in the younger generation.
Abstract: Forging the nation’s collective memory is an integral part of the process of nation building. The powerful link between history and memory is especially salient in the educational system, which is responsible for implanting knowledge and values in the younger generation. The successful completion of this task, it is assumed, will turn young people into loyal citizens and will help instill a shared identity. Interestingly enough, historians and sociologists generally fail to note the political and social links between school textbooks and collective memory. Scholars dealing with the tools used by the state to create its own collective memory—such as historiography, literature, cinema or national commemorations—tend to overlook the role played by textbooks. At the same time, scholars in the field of textbook research barely analyze them in the context of the attempts to build a collective memory, usually ignoring the social environment that helps shape textbook content as well. Since in many Western democracies, and certainly in nondemocratic societies, the state controls the educational apparatus, it can shape the nation’s collective memory by determining what is to be included and

110 citations




Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: These photographs have become as well known as those taken by British and American army photographers during the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps in what was then the German Reich in 1945 as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: Few photographs have become as well known as those taken by British and American army photographers during the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps in what was then the German Reich in 1945. Wagons full of corpses in Dachau; half-dead and sick survivors in the small camp at Buchenwald; hundreds of dead bodies lined up in front of the ruined buildings at Nordhausen; open mass graves at Bergen-Belsen. The American writer Susan Sontag remembered her first encounter with this photographic inventory of ultimate horror as “negative epiphany,” “the prototypically modern revelation.” Ever since then it seemed plausible to her to divide her life into two parts: into the time before she saw those photographs at the age of twelve and the time after. Since they were taken and first published, these pictures have been reprinted countless times, and one receives the impression that the same photographs have been reproduced over and over again (although the archives contain numerous frames that are very little known to this day). The photographs of the liberation have long become part of the Western countries’ collective visual memory. They mostly impress themselves on our sentiments and conjure up a threatening, mute and nameless sense of “once upon a time.” Then as now they set off strong emotional reactions, of shock and terror, of compassion as well as rejection. Usually the pictures are accepted as straightforward and unambiguous reality, not as a specific photographic rendering of that reality open to analysis. More

47 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In the first Russo-Chechen war of the 1990s, there was in actuality no winner in this bloody conflict as discussed by the authors, and the Chechens can officially claim to be victors in this Russo-chechen war, while the former head of the Russian army, Defense Minister General Pavel Grachev, boasted he could overwhelm the Chechen separatist "bandits" with one air battalion in a matter of hours.
Abstract: The collapse of Communism in Eurasia has led to many events that few analysts in the West could have predicted during the Cold War. One of the most improbable of these events was the stunning military victory of the tiny autonomous republic of Chechnya in the 1994–1996 war for independence against the Russian Federation. In a David versus Goliath struggle, bands of Chechen fighters took on the might of the Russian army, often in open warfare, and over and over again defeated or outmaneuvered Moscow’s better equipped, larger, professional armies. While the former head of the Russian army, Defense Minister General Pavel Grachev, boasted he could overwhelm the Chechen separatist “bandits” with one air battalion in a matter of hours, the Chechen debacle demonstrated to the world just how far the Russian army’s battle effectiveness had deteriorated. While the Chechens can officially claim to be victors in the first Russo-Chechen war of the 1990s, there was in actuality no winner in this bloody conflict. Scores of Chechen villages were destroyed, the Chechen capital of Grozny was bombed to rubble in the heaviest bombardment in Europe since the bombing of Dresden, tens of thousands of Chechens and Russians living in Chechnya lost their lives, hundreds of thousands more were made refugees, and the economy of the independent statelet

39 citations



Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In the United States, the Holocaust entered popular culture as an American experience, first through the TV miniseries Holocaust (1978) and more recently in Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List (1993), which gave the definitive photo-realism touch to a Hollywood story of the morally ambiguous but can-do hero who pits his wits against absolute evil.
Abstract: Collective memory cannot be divorced from its construction in culture. As the Broadway version of The Diary of Anne Frank did so phenomenally, plays, novels and movies generate cultural perceptions in ways that are particularly problematic and that stimulate further media reworking of the memory, which may produce stronger images than documentary presentation of facts and testimony by witnesses, educators and historians. In the United States the Holocaust entered popular culture as an American experience, first through the TV miniseries Holocaust (1978) and more recently in Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (1993), which gave the definitive photo-realism touch to a Hollywood story of the morally ambiguous but can-do hero who pits his wits against absolute evil. The same year, the Holocaust became accessible in the National Holocaust Museum in Washington DC alongside the nation’s other museums and monuments. The question behind what is frequently called the “Americanization of the Holocaust” is what shapes the memory when it has become a cultural artifact with tenuous relevance to

31 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article explored the tensions among different visions of the Palestinian national project that appeared through these commemorative practices as the normative effects of martyr memorialization dissolved into criticism, cynicism and apathy.
Abstract: During the second Palestinian intifada (uprising), which began in September 2000, martyr funerals and posters were the most predominant form of memorialization. These practices did not constitute simple expressions of nationalist sentiment; they created a public sphere in which participants and observers were hailed as national subjects, while simultaneously generating a forum in which public political debate occurred. This article explores the tensions among different visions of the Palestinian national project that appeared through these commemorative practices as the normative effects of martyr memorialization dissolved into criticism, cynicism and apathy.

27 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors explores the "refrain of home" among Palestinian refugees in Gaza in the first years after their displacement in 1948 and explores people's memories of home before 1948 and considers four principal moments in the post-displacement transformation: exile itself, returns across the armistice line to retrieve possessions, crossings to steal from Israeli settlements, and fida'iyyin attacks.
Abstract: This article explores the "refrain of home" among Palestinian refugees in Gaza in the first years after their displacement in 1948. Relying on narrative accounts of the 1948 war and its aftermath, it traces people's changing relations with their lost homes. It explores people's memories of home before 1948 and considers four principal moments in the post-displacement transformation: exile itself, returns across the armistice line to retrieve possessions, crossings to steal from Israeli settlements, and fida'iyyin attacks. Each of these practices of connecting with home both reveals and shapes people's understanding of their relation with these lost places.

22 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors use the social and symbolic practice of tourism as a methodological vehicle to illuminate postwar values and beliefs concerning National Socialism in the context of Vergangenheitsbewaltigung studies.
Abstract: For a long time, too long perhaps, the central question in Vergangenheitsbewaltigung studies—that is, studies exploring the ways in which Germans have attempted since 1945 to master their Nazi past—has been whether Germans came to terms with the past or not. This is an important question, underlined by its moral urgency. But, as a historical question, it has severe limitations. Recently, it has slowly been replaced by more comprehensive questions: what did Germans remember of the Nazi past, how was it remembered and who remembered what? Building on these new research questions, this essay is conceived as a critical reflection on Vergangenheitsbewaltigung studies. My focus is on postwar West German society between 1945 and 1960. It is an attempt to explore how the topic of mastering the past can further an understanding of postwar German society and culture. The first part of the essay discusses critically problems of method in old and new interpretations. In the second part, I use the social and symbolic practice of tourism as a methodological vehicle to illuminate postwar values and beliefs concerning National Socialism. My aim is to be suggestive, not comprehensive. I do not state this to preempt criticism. Rather, I view this essay, as well as the test case of tourism, as an attempt to think through a useful way in which to conceive of mastering Germany’s past. For there is no one “correct” way of conceiving of this topic. Some trips, to use

21 citations



Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors reveal that most of the abandoned Arab villages disappeared as a result of a clear plan originating with the Israel Land Administration (ILA), and that the demolition of houses in the Latrun enclave and the Golan Heights immediately after the June 1967 war was to a great extent a continuation of the pre-1967 operation.
Abstract: In spring 1965 the Israel Land Administration (ILA) initiated the demolition of houses in Arab villages that had been abandoned during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, a project that was subsequently extended to the territories occupied by Israel in the June 1967 war. The Israel Archaeological Survey Society (IASS) was for all practical purposes employed by the ILA in its efforts to clear the country of deserted villages. Its officials surveyed the villages intended for destruction, since the law required their authorization before the buildings could be demolished. The article reveals that (1) most of the abandoned Arab villages disappeared as a result of a clear plan originating with the ILA; (2) the demolition of houses in the Latrun enclave and the Golan Heights immediately after the June 1967 war was to a great extent a continuation of the pre-1967 operation; and (3) archaeologists of the IASS were not only instrumental in carrying out the ILA's initiative but subordinated their scientific agenda to that of the governmental bodies with which they cooperated.


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors make a philosophical point about how one remembers the Holocaust: with what sympathies, suspicions, critical methods, narratives, images, tone, language and affect, and build on the work of recent critics.
Abstract: To the generation that directly suffered the Holocaust or witnessed it at one remove, ethical imperatives to remember Auschwitz must have seemed and seem clear and simple; but not today when the burden of memory increasingly falls upon a public whose members were born after the events they recall. No longer the sole purview of survivors, memory more and more depends upon the varied work of artists, scholars and community functionaries (painters, writers, architects, sculptors, actors, filmmakers, historians, philosophers, literary critics, art historians, politicians, clergy, educators, philanthropists, ideologues). In the following pages, I build on the work of recent critics to make a philosophical point about how one remembers: with what sympathies, suspicions, critical methods, narratives, images, tone, language and affect. I start with the Jewish philosopher Emil Fackenheim for whom the Holocaust undermined “philosophy” by provoking wonder and astonishment. Identified by Fackenheim with revelation, these constitute affective sources against which Reason has allegedly sought to protect itself. Arthur Cohen advanced the same argument when he wrote, “There is something in the nature of thought—its patient deliberateness and care for logical order—that is alien to the enormity of the death camps.” Like so much reflection upon the Holocaust during the 1970s and 1980s, these sentiments unwittingly teetered on the edge of art. In fact, the attention to wonder and enormity that Fackenheim and Cohen find


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Collective memory has been used to signify the past as it is represented in those "sites" whose object it is, in Western societies, to fulfill that particular task.
Abstract: The past and its representation have been the focus of much recent work in the area of cultural studies, history, sociology and anthropology; interdisciplinary approaches have also enhanced our knowledge of the social function of memory. In particular, the importance of the past and process of remembrance in identity construction, individual and collective, has been repeatedly highlighted. Since the appearance of Halbwachs’s seminal work on collective memory, the concept has been alternatively employed as self-explanatory, with caution, or rejected; it has been redefined and fine-tuned to suit different perspectives. Collective memory will be used here to signify the past as it is represented in those “sites” whose object it is, in Western societies, to fulfill that particular task. Monuments, history books, commemorations, galleries and museums are among such sites. All partake in the production of history and never stand in pure innocence but are subject to powerful forces of a political, social or economic nature as well as conventions linked with professional practices or scientific methods. Museums of history in particular are quintessential sites of memory. They project a vision of a shared past through the history they produce and the narrative they construct. This inevitably implies selection and interpretation: the production of historical texts and the projection of a communal identity offered to the gaze of others—outside visitors—and reflected back to the surrounding community. The study of their social



Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors examines the ways in which the introduction of photography as a local practice in Palestine from the late nineteenth century affected the way Palestinians saw, imagined and presented themselves in photographs, and critically questions the notions of local and non-local before examining the specific ways photography was employed within the larger context of Palestinian society.
Abstract: This essay examines the ways in which the introduction of photography as a local practice in Palestine from the late nineteenth century affected the way Palestinians saw, imagined and presented themselves in photographs. The essay narrates the history of the inception of photography as a local career in Palestine by tracing the activities of the first known local photographers. In this context, it critically questions the notions of local and non-local before examining the specific ways in which photography was employed within the larger context of Palestinian society.




Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors explored narratives of heroism among Palestinians in the Galilee in order to address broader concerns about the workings of historical transformation and the power of creative agency, the nature of historical consciousness and its relation to practices of everyday life.
Abstract: This article explores narratives of heroism among Palestinians in the Galilee in order to address broader concerns about the workings of historical transformation and the power of creative agency, the nature of historical consciousness and its relation to practices of everyday life. It considers how meaning is constituted through performances of heroism for tellers and listeners, what kinds of selves and others are distinguished by narrative constructions of heroism, and what kinds of authorities inscribe themselves within them. Three separate approaches to the logic of heroic narratives are developed: narratives of heroism as performance, as the production of truths, and as the product of a struggle for power.



Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In these days of mixing genres and blurring boundaries between disciplines and concepts, when some words have changed their meaning and others have none left, it may not be superfluous to begin these reflections on history and the historian's craft by stating some basic assumptions that inform them and this writer as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: In these days of mixing genres and blurring boundaries between disciplines and concepts, when some words have changed their meaning and others have none left, it may not be superfluous to begin these reflections on history and the historian’s craft by stating some basic assumptions (“biases”) that inform them and this writer. The first is that postmodernism and deconstructionism have run their course in the humanities and the social sciences. These are posthoax times now and the “Sokal Affair” was not just an irritating embarrassment for some, but also a demonstration of the lack of substance behind an opaque, bombastic and at times incomprehensible jargon. To be sure, postmodernism and deconstructionism are still around, but theirs is a rearguard skirmish in a lost battle over the form and content of some major scholarly disciplines. However, in spite of their many eccentricities, excesses and much arrogance, in some of these disciplines their role has not been entirely useless and not as harmful as in others. History of literature and literary criticism have been the main losers and they are today a disaster area in terms of both research and teaching, having promoted literary illiteracy in cohorts of well-intentioned and naive college students. At the other pole, historians have been rather impervious to the siren song of postmodern “Theory,” to the premature postmodern requiem for the modern fact and to the postmodern trap of “unmasking hidden agendas,” while at the same time becoming more aware of the need for conceptualization and selfreflection. All in all, to paraphrase Frederick Crews’ remark, history has


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Tania Forte valued writing the fictional, the autobiographical, the scientific and the scientific, and strove to weave these routes together in shaping her life's journey through anthropology, though this did not yet emerge in her writing.
Abstract: Tania Forte valued writing the fictional, the autobiographical, the scientific. She strove to weave these routes together in shaping her life's journey through anthropology, though this did not yet emerge in her writing. Here I juxtapose three of Tania's texts that limn these routes, foregrounding her fascination with the fixed and the flowing, with differences between exteriority and interiority, between selves and others, between private and public.