Inherited Traumatic Threads: Postmemory and the Dis/function of Hand-Me-Downs in Bernice Eisenstein’s I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors

Authors

  • Lucas F.W. Wilson

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.25071/1916-0925.40243

Keywords:

Holocaust, Literature, Memoirs, Diaries, and Autobiographies

Abstract

Bernice Eisenstein’s I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors demonstrates how hand-me-downs function as physical links that Eisenstein uses when attempting to bridge the gaps between herself, her late father, and his Holocaust past in order to address her postmemory; however, as much as these hand-me-downs allow her to address her postmemories, they reinscribe inherited traumas that stem from her father’s Holocaust past. Eisenstein’s work serves as a generative example of how the second generation’s relationships to such clothing often reflect how they inherit and are “dressed in” their postmemories.

L’ouvrage de Bernice Eisenstein, I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors, montre comment les vêtements usés fonctionnent comme des liens physiques qu’Eisenstein utilise pour tenter de combler le fossé entre elle-même, son défunt père et le passé de l’Holocauste de ce dernier, afin d’aborder sa post-mémoire ; cependant, autant ces vêtements lui permettent d’aborder sa post-mémoire, autant ils réinscrivent les traumatismes hérités du passé de l’Holocauste de son père. Le travail d’Eisenstein sert d’exemple génératif de la façon dont les relations de la deuxième génération avec ces vêtements reflètent souvent la façon dont ils héritent et sont « habillés » de leurs post-mémoires.

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Published

2021-10-25 — Updated on 2021-10-31

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How to Cite

Wilson, L. F. (2021). Inherited Traumatic Threads: Postmemory and the Dis/function of Hand-Me-Downs in Bernice Eisenstein’s I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors. Canadian Jewish Studies / Études Juives Canadiennes, 32, 86–98. https://doi.org/10.25071/1916-0925.40243 (Original work published October 25, 2021)

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Articles / Articles