Testimonies of the Holocaust (3 cr.)
This course examines the way individuals have communicated their experiences of the Holocaust. It looks at a variety of formats – diaries, memoirs, court transcripts, audio- and video-taped interviews, at different genres – factual accounts, fictionalized accounts and poetry – and at a variety of vantage-points – victims, survivors, perpetrators, and others. It looks at the particular kinds of testimony that the Holocaust has generated, and asks whether there are particular challenges of communicating the experience. It takes a particular interest in questions of memory, and asks how contemporary diary- and letter-writing differs from later memoirs and interviews. It looks also at the history of testimony’s reception, at the changing way scholars and the wider public have responded to and analyzed (or ignored) the testimony of victims, survivors, and perpetrators.
Students should ensure that they have a basic knowledge of the Holocaust by the time they begin this class.