By Jackie Feldman
Israeli adolescence voyages to Poland are essentially the most well known and influential different types of transmission of Holocaust reminiscence in Israeli society. via extensive player statement, crew discussions, pupil diaries, and questionnaires, the writer demonstrates how the nation shapes Poland right into a dwelling deathscape of Diaspora Jewry. throughout the voyage, scholars endure a ceremony de passage, within which they're reworked into sufferers, triumphant survivors, and eventually witnesses of the witnesses. by way of viewing, touching, and smelling Holocaust-period ruins and continues to be, through accompanying the survivors at the websites in their discomfort and survival, crying jointly and acting commemorative ceremonies on the demise websites, scholars from a large choice of kin backgrounds turn into companies of Shoah reminiscence. they arrive to determine the nation and its safety because the romanticized resolution to the Shoah. those voyages are a bureaucratic reaction to uncertainty and fluidity of identification in an more and more globalized and fragmented society. This research provides a measured and compassionate moral voice to ideological debates surrounding academic and cultural kinds of encountering the earlier in modern Israel, and increases additional questions on the illustration of the Holocaust after the death of the final residing witnesses.
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Additional resources for Above The Death Pits, Beneath The Flag. Youth Voyages to Poland and the Performance of Israeli National Identity
Chapter 7 summarizes the main arguments of the book and draws out the implications of the study for an understanding of the role of transformative rituals in modern societies. I conclude with a personal reflection and a short appendix on the voyages of Orthodox school groups to Poland. In the course of the study, I hope to demonstrate, through indepth ethnography, how state agendas and personal mourning interplay in civil religious pilgrimages to the deathscapes of Poland. In doing so, I will shed new light, not only on Holocaust commemoration and Israeli national identity, but also on the ways that bodily practice can create national identity and collective memories in an age of global travel and “mediarized” representations.
The memory of common origins, a common destiny, the sharing of common eschatological hopes, and the practice of common commemorative rituals embedded in the life cycle and year cycle, he writes, enabled the Jewish people to retain a sense of common identity in the absence of a territorial base or common spoken language. 4 Memory, zekher, is not so much the content of intellectualized, individual reflection as “a matter of ... evocation and identification ... a series of situations into which we can somehow be existentially drawn” (1982: 44).
8 Additional spatializing practices of Zionism are the erection of monuments at battlefields and military cemeteries and settlement museums, which glorify pioneer-settlers as the telos of Jewish history and the harbingers of modernity. These sites of memory, as well as the inscription of history in liturgical time, through the national commemorative and school calendars, undoubtedly influence the way students organize and perceive the Jewish past in Poland. They will be surveyed in chapter 2. Given Zionism’s project of territorializing Jewish history, why, then, does the State Ministry of Education promote a voyage outside the territory of the homeland?
Above The Death Pits, Beneath The Flag. Youth Voyages to Poland and the Performance of Israeli National Identity by Jackie Feldman