AUP student taking a photo of the Seine during Orientation.

George and Irina Schaeffer Center

International Research Workshop: Early Holocaust Remembrance in the Jewish Press, from the Second World War to the 1960s

The Schaeffer Center (Q-709) | 6, rue du Colonel Combes
Monday, November 25, 2019 - 10:10

Scholarly works dealing with early Jewish remembrance of the Holocaust have mainly focused on documentation efforts, historiographical writings, testimonies, Yisker-books, commemorations, and monuments, among other topics. In such works, the Jewish press has been extensively mobilized by scholars as a privileged source of information on communal initiatives and perspectives. Indeed, as means for the circulation of information on Jewish persecutions since the very moment when thesewere taking place, Jewish journals have also become important vehicles for the spreading of knowledge on the Holocaust in the early postwar years. Nonetheless, if the relevance of the Jewish press as a historical source has been widely acknowledged, this media still needs to be approached as a subject of study in itself, alongside with other commemorative endeavors. 

By transmitting a great variety of Holocaust writings in the early postwar years, the Jewish press has significantly shaped the understanding of the Jewish past within the communities it was addressed tothrough its major informative and commemorative role. Moreover, editors and journalists of the Jewish press worldwide very often adopted positions of their own with respect to the meanings of the past expressed in their writings. Hence, this workshop regards Jewish journals as vehicles for early Holocaust memory, and simultaneously as institutional actors with their own memorial agendas. 


Questions proposed to be addressed by participants in their papers: 

  • What were the continuities or differences between the wartime Jewish press (a free one in countries spared by Nazi occupation and a clandestine one in Nazi-occupied Europe) and the postwar Jewish press? 

  • Which topics related to the Holocaust have circulated in the Jewish press? 

  • What kind/genre of texts were published? (Testimonies? Historical writings? Fiction? Poetry?News? Opinion?) 

  • What were the specificities of the treatment of the Holocaust in the Jewish press, compared to books? 

  • Which audience did the Jewish press reach to, compared to other printed materials? 

  • Who wrote about the Holocaust in the Jewish press? Was the readership involved in the elaboration of Holocaust memory? 

  • What was the editorial position of the journal(s) under consideration? Were there contesting visions within the same journal? 

  • Was there a dialogue between the Jewish press and other Jewish or non-Jewish media?  

  • How have images printed in the Jewish press (pictures, drawings, cartoons) contributed to the construction of a Holocaust visual culture? 

  • To what extent was the Jewish press transnational? For instance, can we speak of the Yiddish press as being always transnational? 

  • What were the particularities of Holocaust writings circulating in the Jewish press in languages other than Yiddish? Was the Jewish press able to reach a non-Jewish audience by using non-Jewish languages? 

  • How can we appeal to quantitative methods to study the place and evolution of the Holocaust as a topic in the Jewish press? 



Malena Chinski (EHESS) 

Constance Pâris de Bollardière (The American University of Paris) 

Simon Perego (LabEx EHNE/Sorbonne Université) 

Miriam Schulz (Columbia University)