Preface Viii – Memorials and museums constructed to recall the Holocaust remember events according to the hue of national ideas, the cast of political dicta. On the day in Israel and the Diaspora dedicated to Holocaust remembrance – Yom Hashoah – memory is performed ritually as part of a national commemorative cycle. In this study of Holocaust memorials, I examine precisely how and why public memory of this era is being shaped by the memorials, museums, and days created to remember events.
Preface ix – In every nation’s memorials and museums, a different Holocaust is remembered , often conflicting political and religious ends.
Intro 2 – Memory is never shaped in a vacuum; the motives of memory are never pure, Both the reasons given for Holocaust memorials and the kinds of memory they generate are as various at the sites themselves. Some are built in response to traditional Jewish injunctions to remember, others according to a governments need to explain a nations part to itself. Where the aim of some memorials is to educate the next generation and to inculcate in it a sense of shared experience and destiny,other memorials are conceived as expiation of guilt or as self-aggrandisement. Still others are intended to attract tourists. In addition to traditional Jewish memorial iconography, every state has its own institutional forms of remembrance. As a result, Holocaust memorials inevitably mix national and Jewish figures, political and religious imagery
Intro 5 – (maybe relate this to how Israel is not close to the holocaust physically so need a reminder as to not forget) still others have argued that rather than embodying memory, the monument displaces it altogether, supplanting a community memory-work with its own material form. “the less memory is experienced from the inside”, Pier Nora warns, “the more it exists through its exterior scaffolding and outward signs.” if the obverse of this is true as well, then perhaps the more memory comes to rest in its exterior forms, The less it is experienced internally. In this age of mass memory production an consumption,in fact, there seems to be an inverse proportion between the memorisation of the past and its contemplation and study.
Intro 6 – To the extend that all societies depend on the assumption of shared experience and memory for the very basis of their common relations, a society’s institutions are automatically geared toward creating a shared memory – or at least the illusion of it. By creating the sense of a shared part, such institutions as national memorial days, for example, foster the sense of a common present and future, even a sense of shared national destiny . In this way, memorials provide the sites where groups of people gather to create a common past for themselves, places where they tell the constitutive narratives, their “shared” stories of the past. They become communities precisely by have shared (if only vicariously) the experiences of their neighbours. At some point, it may even be the activity of remembering together becomes the share memory, once ritualised, .remembering together becomes and even in itself that is to be share and remembered
pg 210 – The memory of historical trauma, in a particular, has long played a pivotal role in Jewish national consciousness…. in this way, both the impulse to rememebr the holocaust and the meanings engendered in such remembrance are to some extent prescribed b the tradition itself. To this day, history continues to assert itself as a locus of Jewish identity, memory as a primary form of the Jewish faith
pg 210 – Like any state, Israel also remembers the past according to its nation myths and ideals, its current political needs. Unlike that of other states, however, Israel’s overarching national ideology and religion – perhaps its greatest “natural resource ” – may be memory itself: memory preserved, restored, and codified. In cultivating ritually unified remembrance of the past,the state creates a common relationship to it. The past remembered, recounted and interpreted becomes if only vicariously, a shared experience.