THE ROLE OF MUSIC IN SHAPING HOLOCAUST MEMORY: An Intergenerational Process of Preservation and Transmission

Rachel Kollender

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Musical activity, which was part of every-day life during the Holocaust - in the ghettos, camps and among the partisans - and is still meaningful for the survivors, plays an important role in the process of preserving its memory and transmitting it to the next generations. No full study of the subject has yet been undertaken, the collected and recorded materials have been scarcely examined. My current research relies on a case study which is based field work - recordings and interviews - as well as on my own experience as Second Generation member and teacher of this subject to youngsters who are Third Generation, many of them are not offspring of Holocaust survivors. This exposure to both old and young generations is fundamental to our understanding of the process of passing on the memory to the next generations. The survivors face a conflict - they wish to forget the horrors, but are in need of telling their story. The songs that they still remember can solve this conflict by giving voice to similar (and not intimate personal) situations. On the other hand, the offspring who receive the musical testimony, demonstrate two different approaches - some of them study it as a historical legacy while others use it as a basis for new compositions. These various perspectives are the result of the model Song Stimulating memory Survivor Transmission to next generations and emphasize the understanding of music as a meaningful factor in transmitting the memory of the Holocaust to the next generations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge International Handbook of Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Descendants of Holocaust Survivors
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781000926118
ISBN (Print)9781032254333
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 selection and editorial matter, Judith Tydor Baumel-Schwartz and Amit Shrira; individual chapters, the contributors.


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