Edited By Lucyna Aleksandrowicz-Pędich and Jacek Partyka
Normalization through Literature: Translations from German into Hebrew during the 1970s
Following four decades of troubled relations between Israelis and Germans, the 1970s marked a relative relaxation. The reason for these disrupted relations was the rise of National Socialism. Since then, the Yishuv (the Jewish settlement in Palestine prior to the establishment of the State of Israel) and the State have manifested deep awareness and sensitivity regarding the nature of contacts with Germany, Germans and German culture – ranging from politics to legislation, and from diplomacy to culture. Only a decade after the capture, trial and execution of Adolf Eichmann, and a few years after the establishment of full diplomatic relations with the Federal Republic of Germany in 1965, the 1970s offered Israelis new and different experiences vis-à-vis Germany (Zertal 11–15). Major sports events that took place in West Germany were broadcast on the single state-owned Israeli television channel and received calmly, despite the abundance of German flags on the screen. The heated public debate over stage performances of music composed by Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss – which reached new heights in 1966 – had faded away (temporarily, and only until 1981) (Sheffi, The Ring 85–120). Moderation was also evident in the literary world – the range of books translated from German into Hebrew, which had been somewhat limited during the first two decades of statehood, had grown into a multifaceted array of literary works, allowing the infiltration of contemporary highbrow and lowbrow German literature. Thus, the translated German works appeared like any other translated corpus, comprising a wide...
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