"The Testimonies of Israeli Victims/Survivors: Specific Characteristics and Historical Values"

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Rakefet Zalashik (Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva)

"The Testimonies of Israeli Victims/Survivors: Specific Characteristics and Historical Values"

(Introduced by: Aleksandra Loewenaum Oxford Brookes University)

[19min08; no slides]


This paper was presented to the international symposium:

"Reassessing Nazi Human Experiments and Coerced Research, 1933-1945: New Findings, Interpretations and Problems"

4 - 7 July 2013, Wadham College, Oxford


Convened by Paul Weindling (Oxford Brookes University), Marius Turda (Oxford Brookes University), and Volker Roelcke (University of Giessen).

Kindly funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, and the University of Giessen


Abstract: A fact is an event under description. After using the survivor testimonies of victims of Nazi human experimentation to built a database, historians should consider what else can be done with this material. The paper aims to offer some reflections on the testimonies provided by survivors of Nazi human experiments to Yad Vashem. I will try to suggest answers to questions such as: 'how can we deal with these testimonies from ethical and aesthetic points of view?' and 'can we narrate these testimonies and if so, how?' etc.


Bio: Currently at the Goldstein Goren Center for Jewish Studies, Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel. Rakefet is the author of two books of history of psychiatry in Israel and of a more than 30 articles among them on Holocaust survivors and trauma, the perception of Holocaust survivors in Israel, Holocaust and bio-ethics and Holocaust child survivors.



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