Beyond Genocide: How Refugee Agency Preserves Knowledge During Violence-Induced Migration

Autor(en): Wolff, Frank
Stichwörter: BUND; Business & Economics; General Jewish Labor Bund; genocidal violence; genocide; History; History Of Social Sciences; IDENTITY; Industrial Relations & Labor; Jewish history; labor history; memory; Migration and refugee studies; ORGANIZATION; Social Sciences - Other Topics; Social Sciences, Interdisciplinary; Yiddish language
Erscheinungsdatum: 2020
Herausgeber: GESIS LEIBNIZ INST SOCIAL SCIENCES
Journal: HISTORICAL SOCIAL RESEARCH-HISTORISCHE SOZIALFORSCHUNG
Volumen: 45
Ausgabe: 4, SI
Startseite: 97
Seitenende: 129
Zusammenfassung: 
Genocide targets lives and also aims to destroy cultures. Hence, refugees do not only save their bare lives, as the common notion of a refugee in need of individual protection assumes; they also engage in various collective practices to safeguard their cultural heritage from destruction. As an expression of self-consciousness against genocidal violence, this process of rescue becomes a part of that very cultural heritage and thus fundamentally alters its meaning. To develop a better understanding of this complex process, this article first develops general thoughts on refugee agency and cultural survival. Secondly, to exemplify the variety of such efforts and their cultural meaning, this article examines how European Jews, and particularly the General Jewish Labor Bund, attempted to save Yiddish culture and material collections on the secular history of European Jews during the 20th century. In conclusion, it argues that in addition to the individualized perception of a refugee, we need to consider collective cultural rescue as an integral part of refugee politics.
ISSN: 01726404
DOI: 10.12759/hsr.45.2020.4.97-129

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