(Un)Witnessable: Holocaust in the East

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 6:00pm - Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 7:00pm
various locations

(Un)Witnessable: The Holocaust in the East: A Graduate Student Conference for Slavics Without Borders

Conference website: https://swbupenn.wordpress.com

A Reading of Contemporary Poetry and Prose Related to the Holocaust

Wednesday, April 26th @ 6PM in the Auditorium, Hillel Steinhardt Hall, 215 S 39th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Sam Sax
Taije Silverman
Judith Greenberg
Courtney Sender
Harriet Levin Millan
Kathryn Hellerstein
Ariel Resnikoff

Q & A AND LIGHT REFRESHMENTS TO FOLLOW

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Perry World House, 3803 Locust Walk
10 AM – 5 PM PANELS
Slought Foundation, 4017 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
5:30 PM  KEYNOTE ADDRESS 
ANIKA WALKE (WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, ST. LOUIS)
“WITNESSING AND REMEMBERING THE HOLOCAUST IN BELARUS”

The Republic of Belarus raises unique questions regarding the structure of Holocaust memory: it shares the experience of occupation, collaboration, and genocide with many other European countries, but it stands out because the targeted mass murder was embedded in a more diffuse assault on the whole population and because it took place in or near people’s hometowns. After the war, the destruction of Jewish communities was not featured prominently in Soviet postwar commemorative practices that favored the memory of heroic military fighters and the victory over fascism. This discursive repression persists in independent Belarus, where war memory is largely oblivious to issues of local participation and the erasure of the rich Jewish past.

The lecture considers genocide as an assault on memory and explains how the Nazi genocide impinges on current forms of commemoration; for instance, why Jewish mass graves are excluded from commemorative practices and local Jewish history is rarely known to local populations. Combining various sources, including oral history and other testimonies, archival documentation, photographs and maps, offers a new perspective on the nature and potential of witnessing and remembering the Holocaust in the East.

Jewish Studies Program
711 Williams Hall, 255 S. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305
215-898-6654 / 215-573-6026 fax / jsp-info@sas.upenn.edu