14 October 2009
Memory of historical events is necessarily collective, but acquires personal characteristics that are of the same nature as individual memory in general. This idea is illustrated through memories of holocaust survivors as they construct themselves in a particular biography of an Israeli child. Holocaust memories are then connected to the ethos of military strength in Israeli society, which ethos undertakes to transform the historical marking of the Jews as victims, sacrificed by the nations on the altar of ethnic power. This is where the Palestinians enter the unconscious Israeli narrative, allowing the movement of the Jew away from the position of the sacrificed. The theme of sacrifice conversion marks itself in historical events such as the Naqba and the recent attack on Gaza. The talk examines the manner in which these themes feed into personal memory systems and reconstructs the workings of memory through the entire historical cycle.