Keywords: political philosophy critical thinking holocaust and genocide studies holocaust memory culture jewish and israeli memory cultures the frankfurt school yizkor books
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Yizkor Books – Researching an unexplored Memory Culture
This research is a first incursion into a mostly unexplored part of Holocaust memory culture – Yizkor Books. These books began appearing already during the Holocaust, but mostly in the decades following, reaching a peak in the 1970’s. These communal efforts represent a spontaneous attempt by Holocaust survivors, as well as others, mainly in Israel and the USA, to remember and commemorate the culturally and spiritually rich world that existed before the Nazi assault on the Jews. Yizkor Books are a positive reaction to the Nazi attempt to not only physically destroy the Jews, but to erase them from memory as well. They are not only memorials saying “they were here”, but provide a vivid view into the lives of the Jewish communities before and during the Holocaust.
Around 2,000 books have been published over the years, mainly in Hebrew, Yiddish and English. This research seeks to for the first time thoroughly examine some of these publications, as historical documents and as an important part of Holocaust, Israeli and Jewish memory cultures. This could provide new insight into a nearly unknown part of Holocaust and pre-Holocaust commemoration and remembrance.
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