Contemporary history of Luxembourg Contemporary history of Europe Digital history & historiography

Transmission of Collective Memory and Jewish Identity in Postwar Jewish Generations through War Souvenirs

The contribution includes a sample of testimonies containing the life stories of Jews born in the aftermath of World War II in two countries (Czechoslovakia and Luxembourg). At that time, Czechoslovak Jews were living through the era of de-Stalinization and their narratives offer new insights into this segment of Jewish postwar history that differ from those of Jews living in liberal democratic European states. On the basis of personal documents, photos, letters and souvenirs, the conducted interviews highlight an interesting way of maintaining personal memories in Jewish families and how this varies from one generation to the next. In my contribution, I am planning to illustrate the importance of these small artifacts for the transmission of Jewish collective memory. The case study aims to answer the following research questions: What is the relationship between the Jewish postwar generation and their heirlooms? Who is in charge of maintaining Jewish family heirlooms within the family? Are there any intergenerational distinctions in keeping and maintaining the family history?

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