L'Dor v' dor : legacies, the Holocaust, female survivors, and the third generation / by Jaye A. Houston.
This project addresses the relationship between female Holocaust survivors who are grandmothers and their granddaughters. My thesis is that women's experiences in the death camps affect their granddaughters' contemporary lives. In an effort to explore the various ways in which history is transmitted from one generation to another, I present the voices of five female survivors and their granddaughters. Additionally, I include the voices of four granddaughters whose survivor-grandmothers remain silent about their pasts. I examine how survivor-grandmothers' camp experiences have affected their granddaughters' contemporary life choices and influenced their views concerning Judaism and God. Drawing on Holocaust scholar Henry Greenspan's perspectives about recounting and legacy, I challenge the traditional understanding of storytelling and legacy, because after Auschwitz these notions turned into complex issues. The presupposition is that Holocaust survivor-grandmothers and their granddaughters experience distinctive and formative relationships that expose issues related to legacies in a post-Holocaust world. Overall, this gendered Holocaust project contributes to the discussion about how atrocity specifically impacts women's lives and future generations. It illustrates the ways in which the third generation negotiates its identity. And, just as telling and not telling were crucial survival mechanisms during the Holocaust, these voices reveal how select moments of speaking and silence are relevant to survivor-grandmothers' post-Holocaust relationships. As a result, their granddaughters' voices teach us about legacies from the standpoint of telling and not telling. In brief, this is an examination about how history is orally transmitted from one generation to another, how past experiences affect future generations, and how legacies emerge from those relationships and experiences. I would come to learn that this unexamined relationship would lead to new ways of looking at Holocaust legacies and non-Holocaust related legacies, which expands the way we study a post-Holocaust world.
Record last modified: 2018-05-18 16:19:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/bib136037