Fragments of a Hungarian Past in the Literature of 1.5 and Second-Generation Austro-Hungarian Immigrants in Israel

Ilana Rosen


Contemporary Israeli literature is presently preoccupied with the past diasporic lives of the previous generation, the one that came to Israel from practically all four winds in the mid-late twentieth century. Hungarian-Israeli writers—e.g., Yoel Hoffmann, Judith Rotem, Yael Neeman and Esti G. Hayim—constitute a distinct group within this stream of 1.5 and second generation poets and novelists who have written about immigration and State foundation, often using a documentary or fictionalized memoirist mode. This article highlights the components of these writers' complex burden of a whole world destroyed, in most cases, not long before they were born and which they strive to restore or at least re-imagine in their oeuvre as contemporary Israeli writers. These components include: Holocaust trauma and its transference to the second generation, Hungarian speaking families within the Israeli multicultural setting, the ties of these families with their Hungarian foreign relatives, and household objects related to this past.


Israeli Literature, Hungarian Israelis, Holocaust Narrative, Immigration, Second Generation, Postmemory, Judith Rotem, Yael Neeman, Esti G. Hayim

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