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Culture And Memory: The Role Of Jewish Cultural Property
Culture And Memory: The Role Of Jewish Cultural Property

Author(s): Natan Sznaider
Subject(s): History
Published by: Żydowski Instytut Historyczny
Keywords: Jewish Politics; cultural property; Hannah Arendt; Diaspora; “Jewish Cultural Reconstruction"

Summary/Abstract: This essay attempts to come to terms with Jewish politics immediately after the Holocaust. The understanding of Jewish politics after World War II is usually framed around the Jewish state of Israel and its meaning. My essay will provide another angle, which connects Jewish particularist politics with current concerns about cosmopolitan politics such as human rights, genocide, and international law. Special attention is paid to Hannah Arendt’s practical work for “Jewish Cultural Reconstruction” (JCR). This organization was founded 1944 in order to re-define legally and morally the concept of Jewish cultural property, and to deal with it on a practical level with heirless Jewish cultural property stolen by the Nazis and subsequently retaken by the Allies. By taking a closer look at the goals and struggles of this organization, I will be able to evoke the urgent nature of Jewish politics from 1945 on, and try to explain how the various positions of Jewish intellectuals shaped Jewish and Israeli politics in the years to come. The story told here combines two languages – political and theological – within the overall story of post-Holocaust Jewry.

  • Issue Year: 246/2013
  • Issue No: 02
  • Page Range: 227-235
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: English