A white African experience of identity, survival and Holocaust memory

Gehrmann, Richard (2013) A white African experience of identity, survival and Holocaust memory. Australian Journal of Jewish Studies, 27. pp. 44-65. ISSN 1037-0838

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Abstract

This article provides an alternative reading of Peter Godwin's When a Crocodile Eats the Sun, which has predominantly been interpreted either within the genre of white African memoir, or alternatively as a condemnation of Robert Mugabe's government in Zimbabwe. I argue that it could also be critically interpreted in a different context, within the field of scholarship of assimilation to a non-Jewish identity as a family's survival strategy, and of the transmission of Holocaust experience to later generations. This memoir reveals the experience of one man's search for his family's past, as well as the transition from Polish Jewish identity to British Rhodesian settler identity in southern Africa. In becoming aware of his father's Jewish past, the author becomes aware that this is also now his own history.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright 2013 Australian Journal of Jewish Studies. Its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This publication is copyright. It may be reproduced in whole or in part for the purposes of study, research, or review, but is subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgment of the source.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - School of Humanities and Communication
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2014 12:33
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2015 02:48
Uncontrolled Keywords: Zimbabwe; Rhodesia; white African; Jewish identity; war; memory; Holocaust
Fields of Research : 21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210307 European History (excl. British, Classical Greek and Roman)
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210310 Middle Eastern and African History
16 Studies in Human Society > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9503 Heritage > 950399 Heritage not elsewhere classified
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950501 Understanding Africa's Past
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/24849

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