Summer, 1946, Part I
The European Expedition and the Ethnography of Testimony
This chapter chronicles the lead up to Boder's expedition; the establishment of his interview headquarters in a Paris still recovering from the war; his interview protocols; his frustrated desire to travel to the major German DP centers; and, in lieu of fulfilling that goal, the particular interview questions that he thought would help him assess the larger picture for Jewish DPs and the Jews of Europe in general. Although Boder described the European expedition as if his approach remained constant, he often deviated from these protocols or had multiple goals in mind. His own remarkable biography at times clearly shaped the approach. But he was mainly trying to adjust his method according to what he heard, a strategy which is revealed by a close reading of the first Paris interviews. The chapter concludes by describing the important “background” interviews, which centered on the controversy regarding the accelerating emigration of Jews from Poland. Through these interviews Boder hoped to understand where European Jews could find a postwar home.
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