Szymon Datner’s Memory Speeches: Early Testimonies of a Holocaust Survivor from Białystok

Katrin Stoll

Szymon Datner’s Memory Speeches: Early Testimonies of a Holocaust Survivor from Białystok

Periodical
„Kwartalnik Historii Żydów” nr 03/2012
Publication year
2012

In 1997, James Young published an article entitled „Between History and Memory. The Uncanny Voices of Historian and Survivor” devoted to the work of Saul Friedländer on the Holocaust. In this text he analyzes the methodology adopted by Friedländer, which is based on taking into consideration the voices not only of historians, but also of the survivors and on developing a distinct form of narrative: „an antiredemptory narrative that works through, yet never really bridges the gap between a survivor’s »deep memory« and historical narrative.” Young agrees with Friedlander that the concept of „deep memory,” which „cannot be reconciled with the narrative”, is one of the biggest challenges for the historiography of the Holocaust. He also shares his concern caused by the exclusion of the memories of the Holocaust survivors from normative historiography. Therefore, he ponders how to treat mentioned by Friedländer „deep memory” of the survivors, that is, this part of memory „which remains essentially unrepresentable”. Referring to History as an Art of Memory, Patrick Hutton points out that the question is how should the memories of the survivors be used in historical records.

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