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Jews and Non-Jews: Memories and Interactions from the Perspective of Cultural Studies


Edited By Lucyna Aleksandrowicz-Pędich and Jacek Partyka

The book adds new studies of memories and interactions between Jews and non-Jews to the historical and cultural research on this topic. It gathers in one volume the results of work by scholars from several countries, while the topics of the articles cover various disciplines: history, sociology, psychology, literary and language studies. The specific themes refer to the cultures and interactions with non-Jews in places such as Kiev, Vienna, Ireland, Springfield, Sosúa as well as reflect upon interactions in literary texts by Czesław Milosz and other Polish writers, some contemporary Jewish-American novelists and South American writers. Finally there are texts referring to the experience of the Holocaust and the post-Holocaust trauma as well as German-Israeli and Polish-Jewish relations and heritage.
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The Feelings of Survivors of the First Deportations from the Warsaw Ghetto


The aim of this article is to analyse the feelings of people who survived the first wave of deportations from the Warsaw ghetto in the summer of 1942, whose close relatives (parents, wives and husbands, children) were deported. I want to focus particularly on how people perceived themselves in relation to their family members who were deported to the Treblinka death camp, and how they judged themselves. The following analysis will focus on the feelings of shame and guilt that some of the authors mention in accounts. How did they describe those emotions? Why did they feel ashamed and guilty?

Sources and methods used

The sources used in the analysis presented in this paper are diaries and memoirs about the Warsaw ghetto that were written during the war or soon after the war. Some of the materials used remain unpublished. When using personal documents the issue of representation must be addressed. I want to stress that it is difficult to obtain an ‘adequate representation’ and to generalize the conclusions resulting from the analysis of a small sample of examples. Personal documents (accounts, diaries) are always produced in a certain social context, so the question of who was writing and why must be posed. We should keep in mind that members of the middle and upper classes are more inclined to write and produce personal documents in general, while the lower classes sometimes lack the social and cultural capital (i.e. time, energy or fluency in...

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