You are here

Post-trauma "Precious Legacies": Jewish Museums in Eastern Europe after the Holocaust and before the Fall of Communism

3 December 2014
San Francesco - Via della Quarquonia 1 (Classroom 2 )
Nearly 70 years since the end of World War II, the impact of the Holocaust still resounds in Europe in many ways: fading memories, empty synagogues and abandoned cemeteries, yes. But also new life, new realities and new definitions of Jews and Jewishness. This course will trace some of these developments, particularly in east-central Europe, examining how the impact of the Shoah, followed by 40 years of Communism, is still a powerful backdrop, but how – a quarter century, that is, a full generation since the Iron Curtain came down – new forms of Jewishness, Jewish practice, and religious and cultural expression have emerged. Though still fragile in many places, these have created and are creating new authenticities that will be the basis for future Jewish development in Europe. This course will examine these changes: personal, Jewish communal, societal, cultural and artistic. I would hope this to be a rather informal, open course where discussion is encouraged; lectures, texts and images would be augmented by audio and video, including films (commercial, documentary and home-movies on youtube), music, interviews. There will be several thematic sections: Jewish Archeology Jewish museums and "Museum Judaism" From communist-era suppression to post-communist revival From isolation to online Beyond "virtually Jewish"
Gruber , Ruth Ellen