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Trauma, Historiography and Polyphony: Adult Voices in the CJHC's Early Post-War Child Holocaust Testimonies

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Beate Muller


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This article examines the depiction of the loss of close family members in selected child Holocaust testimonies of the Central Jewish Historical Commission in Poland (CJHC) in relation to the representation of trauma and the practices of historiography that governed the collection and composition of these early post-war accounts, as well as contextualizing them within contemporary Jewish and Polish traditions of autobiographical writing. The CJHC’s testimonial endeavor was informed by a range of potentially conflicting motivations: documenting Nazi atrocities for future historiographical, Jewish-voiced research into the Holocaust; collecting potential courtroom evidence for legal prosecutions; engaging with the young survivors on a more psychological level; and effectively creating testimonies affirming the individual survivor’s identity as a member of two different Jewish communities: those who had perished and those who lived.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Müller B

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: History and Memory

Year: 2012

Volume: 24

Issue: 2

Pages: 157-195

Print publication date: 01/10/2012

ISSN (print): 0935-560X

ISSN (electronic): 1527-1994

Publisher: Indiana University Press


DOI: 10.2979/histmemo.24.2.157


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