Momentary survival : a phenomenological exploration of the Holocaust experience / by Elana Rene Heideman.
This study presents an exploration of the lived experience of European Jewry within the complex circumstantial reality of the Holocaust. Momentary survival is presented as a new construct that reflects the unique and particular human condition which impacted the phenomenological experience of European Jews during the Holocaust. The parameters of continued existence that comprise this condition were an integral component of the dynamic struggle for survival and complex phenomenology of the lived experience of the Jewish victims of Nazi persecution.Momentary survival is defined as the condition of existence resulting from constant exposure to physical and mental trauma and perpetual threats to one's life wherein the probability of death is heightened to extreme levels and all likelihood of survival is minimized to mere chance. Through qualitative content analysis, this dissertation analyzes representations and interpretations of the Holocaust experience for their correlation with the phenomenology of survival at that time. Survivor testimonies are utilized to formulate a detailed accounting of the parameters of the experience and its physical, mental, or emotional impact on the experience of victimization. By enabling investigation into situated human choices and consequences, this construct can facilitate non-witnesses' understanding of the logic behind how decisions were made and what issues would have been considered in the constant pursuit of survival even when it was not ultimately fulfilled. This research can potentially increase historiographical and representational accuracy, minimize judgment or criticism of the Holocaust's victims and improve the effectiveness of the transmission of Holocaust memory for future generations.
Record last modified: 2018-05-18 16:20:00
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