By Phyllis Lassner (auth.)
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Extra resources for Anglo-Jewish Women Writing the Holocaust: Displaced Witnesses
As Lore Segal and Karen Gershon would discover, instead of companionable guidance, they were thrown back on their meager linguistic, social, and emotional resources to decipher what was not said but expected nonetheless. At the same time, for those Kinder who were placed in youth hostels or boarding schools, the other children could provide the companionship and solace that caring but reticent or inadequate foster parents could not. In Kindertransport representation, social and emotional silences conspire with linguistic challenges to beg the following question.
With the publication of individual and collective memoirs about this journey, we have learned more about Nazi persecution as well as British immigration policies and attitudes towards Hitler’s Jewish victims. As this chapter and the next will demonstrate, women’s Kindertransport memoirs also address concerns about Holocaust representation by connecting the writers’ already constructed sense of the past to the memory work of the present. A narrative challenge for refugee and Kindertransport writers, and one that is shared with Holocaust memoirists, is the attempt to convey their complex and barely understood experiences with precision and conviction.
Projecting a mixed brew of emotion into the frame of fairy tales allows it to develop into a narrative discourse whose logic of condensation and extremes mirrors both the workings of nightmares and fractured memory. ’(13, 19). The Jewish identity of which many Kinder were barely aware was simultaneously being imprinted on them and erased. When they became aware of their status as not belonging to the nation they had called home, all that was reflected back to them was their own strangeness, the recognition that they were suddenly unwanted outsiders.
Anglo-Jewish Women Writing the Holocaust: Displaced Witnesses by Phyllis Lassner (auth.)