By Jackie Feldman
Israeli early life voyages to Poland are some of the most well known and influential different types of transmission of Holocaust reminiscence in Israeli society. via in depth player remark, staff discussions, pupil diaries, and questionnaires, the writer demonstrates how the nation shapes Poland right into a dwelling deathscape of Diaspora Jewry. through the voyage, scholars endure a ceremony de passage, during which they're remodeled into sufferers, positive survivors, and at last witnesses of the witnesses. through viewing, touching, and smelling Holocaust-period ruins and continues to be, via accompanying the survivors at the websites in their ache and survival, crying jointly and appearing commemorative ceremonies on the demise websites, scholars from a wide selection of kinfolk backgrounds develop into vendors of Shoah reminiscence. they arrive to work out 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 learn provides a measured and compassionate moral voice to ideological debates surrounding academic and cultural varieties of encountering the earlier in modern Israel, and increases extra questions on the illustration of the Holocaust after the loss of life of the final residing witnesses.
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Extra info for Above The Death Pits, Beneath The Flag. Youth Voyages to Poland and the Performance of Israeli National Identity
Both depicted the voyage as an act of nationalistic brainwashing and emphasized the need for a nonritualized humanistic perspective. Both are based on journalistic reports, while Ofir’s information is supplemented by a student trip book and word-ofmouth student reactions. Ofir identifies the quasi religious character of the voyages as secular pilgrimages (see chapter 2), but reduces the experience of pilgrimage to functions of power. He describes the striving of the Ministry of Education for ideological hegemony, as well as an integrated “industry” in which guides, the Ministry of Education, and private travel agents combine to produce a (highly profitable) product for an expanding student clientele.
I then discuss the processes of selection and preparation of students and guides. I examine the structure and rhythms of the trip as reflected through the logistic instructions, security arrangements, and the itinerary and schedule, and detail some of the forces shaping the Shoah landscape of Poland, as well as guides’ techniques of narration. Chapter 4 will provide an extensive ethnography of a trip I observed in September 1995, accompanied by critical and analytical reflections. Here, I decided to integrate journal entries and reactions 01-Ch1 1/16/08 26 11:40 AM Page 26 Above the Death Pits, Beneath the Flag expressed in the evening group discussions (several hours to a day later) with the first-hand reactions to the site, while excluding later, postvoyage reactions or recollections.
All these will need to be identified and brought into connection with each other in the course of the analysis. Organization of the Book In order to portray the interaction of structural and performative aspects within certain sociopolitical contexts pertaining to the voyage, I have chosen to organize my ethnography of the voyage into separate chapters focusing on sociohistorical contexts, structure, performance, and ceremonies: Chapter 2 will deal with the social and historical contexts of the voyage in Israeli society.
Above The Death Pits, Beneath The Flag. Youth Voyages to Poland and the Performance of Israeli National Identity by Jackie Feldman