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Updated Up To 18/01/2017
Volume 3, Number 2 (June 2005) : 153--182
Constructing the Memory of the Holocaust
The Ambiguous Treatment of Babii Iar in Soviet Literature
Edith W. Clowes
Rubric A: Literature and Ideology

Abstract

 

The article deals with literary constructions of memory of the Holocaust as it happened on the territory of the Soviet Union. This article focuses on the slaughter of Kievís Jews in the ravine Babii Iar, September 29--October 3, 1941, the horrifying event that has received the most significant treatment in officially permitted Soviet literature. Complicating the problem of confronting the Holocaust on Soviet soil were two contradictory tasks: 1) the authorsí goal of remembering the Nazisí deliberately anti-Jewish genocide in the context of their also deliberate anti-Slavic and anti-Soviet designs, and 2) the editorsí and censorsí goal of reasserting a specious Soviet ideology of internationalist, egalitarian ďhumanismĒ that held that no nationality should get a preferential treatment. Works discussed range from those of the 1940s (Erenburg, Grossman, and Ozerov), through the 1960s (Evtushenko, Kuznetsov), to the 1970s (Rybakov). 


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