Collect and Record!: Jewish Holocaust Documentation in Early Postwar Europe by Laura JockuschCollect and Record!: Jewish Holocaust Documentation in Early Postwar Europe by Laura Jockusch

Collect and Record!: Jewish Holocaust Documentation in Early Postwar Europe

byLaura Jockusch

Paperback | August 15, 2015

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This book describes the vibrant activity of survivors who founded Jewish historical commissions and documentation centers in Europe immediately after the Second World War. In the first postwar decade, these initiatives collected thousands of Nazi documents along with testimonies, memoirs,diaries, songs, poems, and artifacts of Jewish victims. They pioneered in developing a Holocaust historiography that placed the experiences of Jews at the center and used both victim and perpetrator sources to describe the social, economic, and cultural aspects of the everyday life and death ofEuropean Jews under the Nazi regime. This book is the first in-depth monograph on these survivor historians and the organizations they created. A comparative analysis, it focuses on France, Poland, Germany, Austria, and Italy, analyzing the motivations and rationales that guided survivors in chronicling the destruction they hadwitnessed, while also discussing their research techniques, archival collections, and historical publications. It reflects growing attention to survivor testimony and to the active roles of survivors in rebuilding their postwar lives. It also discusses the role of documenting, testifying, andhistory writing in processes of memory formation, rehabilitation, and coping with trauma.Jockusch finds that despite differences in background and wartime experiences between the predominantly amateur historians who created the commissions, the activists found documenting the Holocaust to be a moral imperative after the war, the obligation of the dead to the living, and a means for thesurvivors to understand and process their recent trauma and loss. Furthermore, historical documentation was vital in the pursuit of postwar justice and was deemed essential in counteracting efforts on the part of the Nazis to erase their wartime crimes. The survivors who created the historicalcommissions were the first people to study the development of Nazi policy towards the Jews and also to document Jewish responses to persecution, a topic that was largely ignored by later generations of Holocaust scholars.
Laura Jockusch is a Martin Buber Society Fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and teaches Holocaust studies at the University of Haifa.
Title:Collect and Record!: Jewish Holocaust Documentation in Early Postwar EuropeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 6.1 × 9.21 × 1.18 inPublished:August 15, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190259329

ISBN - 13:9780190259327


Table of Contents

Introduction: Early Chroniclers of the Holocaust: Jewish Historical Commissions and Documentation Centers in the Aftermath of the Second World War1. Khurbn-Forshung: History Writing as a Jewish Response to Catastrophe2. Writing French Judaism's "Book of Martyrdom": Holocaust Documentation in Liberated France3. Writing Polish Jewry's "Greatest National Catastrophe": Holocaust Documentation in Communist Poland4. Writing History on Packed Suitcases: Holocaust Documentation in the Jewish Displaced Persons Camps of Germany, Austria, and Italy5. Joining Forces to Comprehend the Jewish Catastrophe: The Attempt to Establish a European Community of Holocaust ResearchersConclusion: History Writing as Reconstruction: The Beginnings of Holocaust Research from the Perspective of Its VictimsAppendix: Major Participants in the Jewish Historical Commissions and Documentation CentersNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"The most important success of Jockusch's study is that it paves the way for a transnational history of Holocaust memory... Jockusch shows, through her small case study of early historians, how much more there is to do." --The Times Literary Supplement