Mapping the Intergenerational Memory of the Holocaust in Hungarian Bystander Families: The Case of Sacha Batthyány’s Identity Novel, Und was hat das mit mir zu tun? [‘And What Does That Have to Do With Me?’]

Gergely Kunt

Abstract


In this study, Kunt examines the intergenerational memory of the Holocaust in Hungarian bystander families. Communicative memory plays a key role in intergenerational relationships, as it allows the transmission of the family’s own interpretation of the past to younger generations, thereby becoming an important pillar of individual and family identity. Kunt’s analysis finds that in the memory of bystander families he has studied in Hungary, the persecution of the Jewish population is only marginally present, for several reasons. One is that the intergenerational communication of such memories has been scarce, as these memories in particular are seldom passed down to the third and fourth generations. Another reason is that the majority of Hungarian society is characterized by a sense of competitive victimhood, where many families impress upon their descendants the severity of their own historical losses while simultaneously dismissing or trivializing the losses of other social groups, often by suppressing memories related to the suffering of such groups.


Keywords


Hungarian Holocaust, life writing, bystanders, family memory, Sacha Batthyány, social innovation

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/ahea.2017.279

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Copyright (c) 2017 Gergely Kunt

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