Browsing by Author "Stern, Trevor"
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- ItemEtched in Metal and Stone: The Local Contexts of Holocaust Remembrance at Three Memorials(2022) Stern, Trevor; Gerstein, LindaHolocaust memorials' physical structures and interpretations are necessarily mediated and shaped by local contexts, including place and the particular time of construction. Three monuments from across a wide geographic and temporal range show the broad influence of local contexts on physical and rhetorical manifestations of Holocaust commemoration. The planners of the 1964 Monument to the Six Million Jewish Martyrs in Philadelphia made frequent references to Jewish history and religious principles, the triumphant establishment of Israel, and American patriotism. The 1990 Miami Beach Holocaust Memorial is seen by its architect, monument planners, and visitors as a place especially of mourning for those lost in the Holocaust, as well as a conduit for education, resonant with the vigorous focus on the Holocaust in academia during the 1980s. The 2005 Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin is considered by many to be an expression of German guilt for the Nazis' attempted genocide of the Jewish people, or even a tool for overcoming the nation's shame, after a West German historical reexamination of its Nazi past during the Historikerstreit and reunification. The memorials discussed demonstrate the extent to which the past takes a back seat to the present when events are being commemorated through physical structures.
- ItemWalking in the Footprints of the Past: Embodied Experience at the Jewish Museum Berlin(2022) Stern, Trevor; Ghosh, PikaIn October 2021, I visited the Jewish Museum Berlin (JMB) while on a research trip. My experience in the museum's belowground section, in a set of hallways known as "axes," made me feel as if I was adopting the identity and emotional state of a Holocaust victim through a bodily interaction with spatial and sensorial stimuli. In particular, I felt connected to my German Jewish ancestors who were forced into exile and killed by the Nazi regime. I use the term "embodiment" for this visceral and poignant phenomenon. Adopting an autoethnographic approach, I highlight my own family history during the Holocaust. This contributes to my narrative of my embodied experience while moving through the various parts of the museum axes. In particular, I discuss the way that various architectural and curatorial choices led to sensory and physical engagement that heightened my sense of embodiment. Through examining various pilgrimages which feature similar embodied elements, I raise questions about the role of physical location in cultivating the experience. Similarly, an analysis of embodiment in the Passover Seder leads to discussion of who can participate in such an encounter at the JMB. I conclude by giving voice to others who discuss the morality of personal engagement with the Holocaust, and the implications of their ideas with regard to my embodied experience.