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Genealogy 2017, 1(4), 19; doi:10.3390/genealogy1040019

What’s in a Name? The Genealogy of Holocaust Identities

Department of Sociology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Received: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 27 September 2017 / Published: 6 October 2017
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Abstract

In this essay, I analyze the terminology used in the United States (U.S.) to refer to Jews who lived through the Holocaust as well as their descendants. This essay constitutes a first step in a project focused on re-conceptualizing Holocaust survivors and their families through the lens of agency and victimization. Many children and, more recently, grandchildren of Jewish Holocaust survivors trace their genealogy to their parent’s or grandparent’s past, and self-identify through this experience. The specific terms and labels used to identify or self-identify reflect different kinds of assumptions as well as claims on how that particular past affects their present. My preliminary findings suggest a paradoxical inversion of victimization and agency in some of the terminology used to identify or self-identify survivors as well as children of survivors. View Full-Text
Keywords: Holocaust; identity; survivors; second generation; post-memory; agency; victims; genocide Holocaust; identity; survivors; second generation; post-memory; agency; victims; genocide
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Wolf, D.L. What’s in a Name? The Genealogy of Holocaust Identities. Genealogy 2017, 1, 19.

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