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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel

There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445


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The Wonder of Their Voices: The 1946 Holocaust Interviews of David Boder (Oxford Oral History)


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Publisher Comments:

Over the last several decades, video testimony with aging Holocaust survivors has brought these witnesses into the limelight. Yet the success of these projects has made it seem that little survivor testimony took place in earlier years. In truth, thousands of survivors began to recount their experience at the earliest opportunity. This book provides the first full-length case study of early postwar Holocaust testimony, focusing on David Boder's 1946 displaced persons interview project. In July 1946, Boder, a psychologist, traveled to Europe to interview victims of the Holocaust who were in the Displaced Persons (DP) camps and what he called "shelter houses." During his nine weeks in Europe, Boder carried out approximately 130 interviews in nine languages and recorded them on a wire recorder.

Likely the earliest audio recorded testimony of Holocaust survivors, the interviews are valuable today for the spoken word (that of the DP narrators and of Boder himself) and also for the song sessions and religious services that Boder recorded. Eighty sessions were eventually transcribed into English, most of which were included in a self-published manuscript. Alan Rosen sets Boder's project in the context of the postwar response to displaced persons, sketches the dramatic background of his previous life and work, chronicles in detail the evolving process of interviewing both Jewish and non-Jewish DPs, and examines from several angles the implications for the history of Holocaust testimony.

Such early postwar testimony, Rosen avers, deserves to be taken on its own terms rather than to be enfolded into earlier or later schemas of testimony. Moreover, Boder's efforts and the support he was given for them demonstrate that American postwar response to the Holocaust was not universally indifferent but rather often engaged, concerned, and resourceful.

About the Author

Alan Rosen teaches Holocaust literature at the International School for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem, Israel. His previous books include Sounds of Defiance: The Holocaust, Multilingualism, and the Problem of English and Dislocating the End: Climax, Closure and the Invention of Genre.

Table of Contents



Introduction: Boder's Happy Idea

Chapter 1: I Could Not Help But Wonder: On Boder's Biography and the Idea of Testimony

Chapter 2: Summer, 1946: The European Expedition and the Ethnography of Testimony

Chapter 3: Summer, 1946 Part II: The Expansion of Testimony

Chapter 4: From Listening to Reading: Publishing the Interviews

Chapter 5: The Wonder of Their Voices: Testimony, Technology and Wire Recorded Narratives

Chapter 6: Making a Study of These Things: Boder's Interviews in the Context of Psychology

Chapter 7: In Divergent Tongues and Dialects: Multilingual Interviews and Literary Experiments

Epilogue: Rewriting the History of Holocaust Testimony

Appendix I Lists of Interviews

Appendix II The Disputed Number of Interviews

Appendix III Topical Autobiographies Table of Contents

Bibliographic Note



Product Details

Rosen, Alan
Oxford University Press, USA
null, Alan
Europe - General
History, World | European
World History-European History General
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
9 b/w halftones
6.3 x 9.3 x 1 in 1.35 lb

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » General
Biography » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
History and Social Science » World History » European History General
History and Social Science » World History » Holocaust
Humanities » Philosophy » General

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