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The Wonder of Their VoicesThe 1946 Holocaust Interviews of David Boder$
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Alan Rosen

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195395129

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395129.001.0001

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Epilogue: Rewriting the History of Holocaust Testimony

Epilogue: Rewriting the History of Holocaust Testimony

Chapter:
(p.227) Epilogue: Rewriting the History of Holocaust Testimony
Source:
The Wonder of Their Voices
Author(s):

Alan Rosen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395129.003.0009

Boder's project compels to revise our view of the history of Holocaust testimony. Early postwar testimony deserves to be viewed on its own terms, as unbelated testimony. The special distinction of Boder's interviews is their aural dimension, dramatizing the narrators' youth, driving home the raw quality of their witness, and preserving objectively the words and language of interviewer and interviewee. Boder's manner of concluding his transcriptions is unconventional in several respects, associating his collection of testimony with the sacredness of Torah, and conveying a resolute idea of closure. This holds true for his 1949 book as it does for his 1957 self-published transcriptions. Finally, an uncompleted project of his own casts light on three facets of the interviews: first, the professional stance of the interviewer enables narrators to tell what is difficult; second, symmetry reflects the importance of both interviewer and interviewee; and third, youth can often disclose more and challenge more, something one sees as crucial to the Boder project interviews.

Keywords:   Holocaust testimony, interviews, closure, youth

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