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Title: Holocaust survivors : experiences of displacement and narratives of self
Author: Silberklang, L. M.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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Looking at Displaced People (predominantly Jewish) after the Second World War, the dissertation begins by problematising and broadening the term ‘displacement’, from its UNRRA definition (primarily geopolitical) to embrace profound existential concerns. It then explores potential trends in the ways in which DPs reacted to new challenges posed by the ‘initiatory crisis’ of liberation. Considering factors such as age, role, rupture, emigration, the changing role of global perceptions of the ‘Holocaust survivor’ and the formal constraints and idiomatic influences at work in ordering and recording memory for consumption by projected audiences, it argues for the validity of memoirs and testimonies as a primary source-base, revelatory of patterns in behaviour and belief systems that an analysis based on outward behaviour alone might overlook. Through close attention to the life stories of survivors, situated amid contextualising detail, it will be seen that the DP population emerging from the Holocaust constitutes a unique and historically fascinating group in terms of representing a collective and sustained form of grappling with the nature of experience, memory, community, and value. The study develops and suggests extrapolation of a new vocabulary of terms dealing with processes of narrativisation which may be of wider applicability.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available