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Updated Up To 18/01/2017
Volume 7, Number 2 (June 2009) : 229--41
Swearing-in Ceremony
The Police in the Kovno Ghetto, November 1, 1942
Dalia Ofer
Rubric A: Eyewitness Narratives

Abstract

 

The leaders of the Jewish police in the Kovno ghetto, a controversial public institution, initiated a project of writing the history of the Jewish police. Their purpose was to leave testimonies and records of the police in the ghetto, and to convey their perspective on the events. The writers were aware of their limitations – their subjectivity and closeness to the events. However, they had an urge to present a narrative describing their organization -- not as memoirs or diaries of individual policemen but as a Geschichte of their unit for future generations.

The paper offers an analysis of one episode in this “History” – viz. of the text and the contexts of the unusual swearing-in ceremony that was held at a relative late point in the history of the ghetto police and that in the “History” is not presented in the chronologically appropriate place – commenting both on the possible meaning of the event and on the manner of its representation.
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