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Sharon Kangisser Cohen
Research on oral accounts has repeatedly argued that central to understanding the construction of an individual’s story is the context in which the telling takes place. The story as told by the individual is his or her memory and interpretation of the event, which is in constant negotiation and dialogue. The meaning they attribute to their past is arguably influenced by various factors in which their self is being negotiated and constructed. In order to track if and how survivors’ narratives have changed and evolved over time, Testimony and Time compares their individual accounts given at different phases in their lives. This book examines the longitudinal development of individual survivor testimony, in order to identify if the changing context influences and shapes survivors’ accounts of their past. The work is based on the early and later accounts of 15 survivors of the Holocaust. These survivors were born in different European countries, and their experiences during the war were varied. Early accounts were taken in the immediate post-war years and the latter interviews were conducted over 50 years later. Analysis of these interview-texts has demonstrated the remarkable resilience of Holocaust survivors’ memory of the past over time. Whilst there is a strong continuity in memory of the core stories, this in-depth narrative study also reveals an important shift in the way survivors construct, communicate and interpret their experiences over time.
Otto Weiss | Editor: Ruth Bondy
Edited by Avraham Milgram and Robert Rozett
Edited by Israel Gutman