As the child of Holocaust survivors, I had thought that after more than seventy-five years little else could be learnt. But I was wrong. After my second journey to Ukraine and Transnistria in order to discover how my family had survived when hundreds of thousands of Jews had perished, I realized just how much so. Bukovina’s Jews from Romania, Ukraine and Bessarabia had faced horrific pogroms, forced evacuations and death marches, and had then crossed the Dniester River into Transnistria. These are lesser known topics in Holocaust history. Of the 450,000 Jews sent there, approximately 250,000 died, not by guns, gas or ovens but through thirst, starvation, disease and bullet-free mass murders carried out by the Nazis and their Romanian allies. Transnistria’s Holocaust history must be visited and revised. We owe it to the survivors, ourselves, our children and to history itself, before altering what has been written, or not, becomes impossible.
A Hidden Holocaust Refuge in Transnistria
Carol Simon Elias
A Theological-Biographical Sketch
On 25 May 2002, Friedrich-Wilhelm Marquardt, Professor Emeritus for Systematic Theology at the Free University (FU) of Berlin, was called out of life, as the death announcement of his family put it, 'in the midst of a happy spring walk'. The readers would have known him above all as a tireless worker for the renewal of the relationship between Christians and Jews. The reflections concerning the encounter between Christians and Jews, the recognition of the shared responsibility of Christians for the National-Socialist murder of the Jews, but also the meaning of the return of Israel to her Land and the founding of the State of Israel were pulled by Marquardt into the center of his Dogmatics perhaps more than by any other Christian theologian. It was a long journey to that point.
Historical Justice and Cultural Memory
Victor Jeleniewski Seidler
Exploring some of the tensions in the recent international conference on 'Jews and Non-Jews in Lithuania: Coexistence, Cooperation, Violence', held at UCL in December 2012, I show how they relate to ways in which the Holocaust is to be understood and historical justice done not only to those who were murdered and suffered but also to the sufferings of Lithuanians under Soviet Occupation. Questioning the notion of a 'double holocaust' that would seek some equivalence I also interrogate assumptions informing the programme of the Prague Declaration. I explore ethical issues of what it means to do justice to the dead and how this calls for an ethical historiography that goes beyond its positivist frameworks.
Joanna K. Stimmel
With the increasing medialization of cultural memory regarding
World War II and the Holocaust, cinematic texts become significant
components of our remembrance. Not only videotaped witness testimonies
but also documentaries and fictional films make up the growing
body of visual material that tells of the wartime past and the way
we remember it. Today, the great majority of the filmmakers depicting
the Holocaust on screen—as well as their audiences—belong to
the so-called second and third generations. Born too late to have witnessed
the murder of Europe’s Jews, these film directors nonetheless
declare a very strong personal connection to the past they never
knew. Their renditions of this past is, as Marianne Hirsch argues,
driven by the “postmemory,” a type of memory in which the connection
to its object or source is mediated not through recollection
but rather through imagination and creation.
Eszter B. Gantner
The persecution, flight and murder of European Jews in the first half of the twentieth century and the profound social and political transformations that decisively affected European cities in the final decade of the 20th century have radically altered urban 'Jewish landscapes'. New stakeholders and institutions emerged with their own networks, goals and interests, and have constructed, staged and marketed 'Jewish culture' anew. The resultant Jewish spaces are being constituted in an urban space located at the intersection of ethnic representation, collective memory, and drawing on an imagined material culture, which includes architectural, physical and digital spaces (e.g. synagogues, Jewish quarters). This Europe-wide process is closely related to the delicate politics of memory and to discourses on the authenticity of cities. This article analyses how the image of 'Jewishness' plays an increasingly important role in the marketing of historical authenticity that cities and their tourism affiliates are undertaking.
Alice H. Cooper and Paulette Kurzer
The puzzle explored in this article is why Germany, in spite of its
superb record in environmental policy and health care, has systematically
thwarted measures to reduce smoking rates. At this point,
thousands of large-scale epidemiological findings demonstrate a relationship
between smoking and disease. Moreover, unlike alcohol,
there is no safe amount of smoking. Cigarettes kill, and smoking is
the single largest source of preventable death in advanced industrialized
states. By various estimates, tobacco kills 500,000 Europeans
per year, including 120,000 Germans. Globally, in the years 2025 to
2030, smoking will kill 7 million people in the developing world and
3 million in the industrialized world. No other consumer product is
as dangerous as tobacco, which kills more people than AIDS, legal
and illegal drugs, road accidents, murder, and suicide combined.
An Interview with Morvandiau
Ann Miller and Morvandiau
This interview with political cartoonist and comics artist Morvandiau focuses mainly on his 2007 comic book D'Algérie. After the murder in 1994 of his Uncle Jean, a père blanc ['white father'] in Tizi Ouzou, along with three of his fellow priests, followed by the failed suicide of his father, a Pied-noir, eight years later, Morvandiau decided to carry out research into his family and its links with France's colonial adventure. Through the resources of the comic art medium, he was able to give form to a story which is both personal and public (Figures 1-2). The subtle and sober portrayal of his search for identity is contextualised by a highly absorbing panorama of political events. In the interview, he explains some of the aesthetic choices that he made, and discusses the challenges of working from documentary material, and how he drew on the resources of the medium to tackle issues of individual and collective identity.
Welcome to the Postmodern Melancholy of Gordimer's Post-Apartheid World
Raymond Chandler used to say that whenever he got stuck writing a novel he would get going again by having a character come through the door with a gun in hand. Reading the opening pages of Nadine Gordimer’s new novel with its account of a sensational murder, one might wonder whether South Africa’s 1991 Nobel laureate, faced with the end of apartheid and the consequent lack of a subject, was operating according to Chandler’s principle. The House Gun, however, indicates not so much the lack of a subject as a new way of looking at an old subject facing new circumstances – the old subject being the psychological and material effects of white racism on whites, the new circumstances being those of post-apartheid South Africa. Moreover, the apparent narrowing of focus from the macropolitics of Gordimer’s three most recent preceding novels, None to Accompany Me (1994), My Son’s Story (1990), and A Sport of Nature (1987), to the micro-politics of The House Gun suggests that we can read South Africa’s transition to full democracy as a paradigmatic change from a modern to a postmodern condition. Gordimer’s post- 1994 publications, and The House Gun in particular, lend themselves to being read as illustrative of two of Michel Foucault’s central insights: the ubiquity of power, and the consequent idea that given that ubiquity, care of one’s self (‘souci de soi’) becomes a new kind of political obligation.
Gijs Mom and Nanny Kim
How topsy-turvy can the world of mobility become? Th e London cab has recently been revived by a Chinese automotive group,1 General Motors had to be rescued by the American taxpayer, and BMW is converting its cars to electricity. In Delhi, after a rape and murder of a woman in a bus, rickshaw pullers introduced “safe for women” rickshaws.2 In Brazil riots against corruption and poverty started in a bus, out of outrage at increased ticket prices.3 In Rio de Janeiro there are three bus accidents per day, in part caused by drivers racing against each other.4 How can we understand the plethora of confusing messages from a world of mobility that seems to spin out of control, more so with every new decade? New Mobility Studies tries to make sense of this turbulence and as editors of Transfers we seek fresh approaches that are not afraid of transgressing boundaries. Th is issue, in which we present scholarship beyond the immediate reach of Western mainstream mobility studies, is an example of such boundary crossing.
By what incredible foresight did the most significant intellectual quarrel of the twentieth century anticipate the major issue of the twenty-first? When Camus and Sartre parted ways in 1952, the main question dividing them was political violence—specifically, that of communism. And as they continued to jibe at each other during the next decade, especially during the war in Algeria, one of the major issues between them became terrorism. The 1957 and 1964 Nobel Laureates were divided sharply over which violence most urgently demanded to be addressed and attacked—the humiliations and oppressions, often masked, that Sartre described as systematically built into daily life under capitalism and colonialism, or the brutal and abstract calculus of murder seen by Camus as built into some of the movements that claimed to liberate people from capitalist and colonial oppression.
The Sartre-Camus conflict remains, fifty years later, philosophically unresolved. And I would argue—against today's conventional wisdom so persistently asserted by Tony Judt—it is also historically unresolved, despite today.