The Children’s Experience of the Holocaust:  Memory and Identity in Post-War Greece Cover Image
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The Children’s Experience of the Holocaust: Memory and Identity in Post-War Greece
The Children’s Experience of the Holocaust: Memory and Identity in Post-War Greece

Author(s): Pothiti Hantzaroula
Subject(s): History
Published by: Institutul National pentru Studierea Holocaustului din Romania ELIE WIESEL
Keywords: Child-survivors; testimony; hidden children; Bergen-Belsen; postmemory

Summary/Abstract: The current study approaches the children’s experiences of the Holocaust through the use of oral testimonies of child-survivors. It explores the strategies of families confined by the extremely limited choices that existed during the introduction of anti-Jewish legislation and the implementation of the “Final Solution” in Greece and investigates the aid networks and the relationships that developed and enabled survival. The imprint of the Holocaust in memory is mediated by age and by the specific circumstances in which Jewish communities and families were caught during the war. To investigate the ways in which the experience of the Holocaust shaped post-war subjectivities, the study focuses on three age groups of child-survivors. The first age group consists of children who were born during the war. The second age group consists of children who belong to 1.5 generation, a term improvised by Susan Rubin Suleiman to designate child-survivors who were too young to have an adult understanding of what was happening to them, but old enough to remember the Nazi perse- cution of Jews. The third age group concerns adolescents. The article analyzes the distinct biographical histories of the above-mentioned age groups and illuminates the ways in which historical consciousness is formulated through the complex interrelationship between memory, family, and history. The transmission of family history to subsequent generations becomes a duty and a political issue, as well as a form of historical consciousness.

  • Issue Year: VII/2015
  • Issue No: 08
  • Page Range: 217-239
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: English