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After the Survivors: Performing the Holocaust and the Jewish Past in the New Yad Vashem Museum and in the Jewish Museum, Berlin
Dr. Jackie Feldman, Dr. Anja Peleikis
Fördergeber - Sonstige;
65 years after the end of the Holocaust, at a time when the last witnesses of the past - victims and perpetrators - are passing away, museums, exhibitions and memorials have taken over the important task of teaching, telling and remembering. In awareness of this fact, the cooperative research project of Ben Gurion University at Beersheva, Israel and the Martin-Luther-University at Halle/Saale

(financed by the German-Israeli-Foundation, G.I.F.) focuses on the question of how the Holocaust and the Jewish past are told and performed at two recently built memorial museums: the New Yad Vashem Museum in Jerusalem (NYV) and the Jewish Museum, Berlin (JMB).  While most studies on museums have concentrated either on the history and architecture of a particular museum or on curatorial strategies and policies, we contend that such research must be combined with an in-depth study of the social practices of people at the museums. This has not been done in the study of (Holocaust) museums, and is a significant gap that we plan to fill. Our main focus is the dynamic performances of the Holocaust/Jewish past to various publics by museum guides in Berlin and Jerusalem. The narration of the exhibit by guides and the visible reactions and interpretations of visitors are essential for comprehending the social lives of museums as well as their social importance and wider (trans)national impact.  This approach will allow us to understand how visits to these museums form part of tourist itineraries, and are able to grasp the - fully under-researched - processes and ambiguities of commercializing, marketing and branding of Holocaust memories and narratives as well as the internalization of these narratives by performers and agents of memory.


Holocaust, Museums, guiding, politics and practices of memory, tourism

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