Divided lives : "Mischling" women in the Third Reich / by Cynthia A. Crane.
My dissertation centers on eight Mischling ("half-breed") women who survived the Third Reich. These women, who were products of "mixed marriages" (Jewish-Christian) permitted me to interview them and to assemble their stories. Derived from these interviews, which I conducted, transcribed, translated, and edited, and my literary and historical research, I have written a dissertation that bears thematic and structural resemblance to other Holocaust works; however, my dissertation differs in that it deals solely with women from a "mixed" background. Eight translated and shaped narratives, discrete and self-contained, each presented in a question-and-answer interview format, form my dissertation. A headnote of varying length prefaces each interview as a lead-in to the narrative, in the manner that befits each woman's autobiography, highlighting the primary themes. Within the headnotes I have sometimes included psychological and historical observations and commentary. As I can not claim to be an objective, non-participatory viewer, my own personal odyssey--the experience itself and the resultant questioning of values and beliefs--surfaces intermittently during the interviews. In the telling of their stories, each woman crafted and gave birth to a "fictional" identity. In some sense, I helped them to create this self, this autobiography. I was entrusted with these women's narratives because of my "spiritual" connection to their history. I lived what they had experienced through my grandmother's and father's stories, and I am aware of and have acknowledged my positionality. It was up to me then to deliver the narratives in a compelling way. This dissertation is a dialogic recounting, a work of literary non- fiction, rather than strictly the monologic, non-fiction prose of the scholarly or theoretical essay. It does not center on "results," nor pronounce definitive conclusions about "mixed marriages," or "half-breeds," namely because this material is not textually entrapped, rather, because of its base in evolving life stories is still transforming. Within the fluidity of presentation, communities of readers are given space to ponder their own conclusions, and to challenge previously held convictions or assumptions about the Third Reich and the Holocaust.
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Record last modified: 2018-05-22 11:47:00
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