Journal Article

“A Joyful Act of Worship”: Survivor Testimony on Czech Culture in the Terezín Ghetto and Postwar Reintegration in Czechoslovakia, 1945–48

Lisa A. Peschel

in Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Published on behalf of United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Volume 26, issue 2, pages 209-228
Published in print August 2012 | ISSN: 8756-6583
Published online August 2012 | e-ISSN: 1476-7937 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hgs/dcs032
“A Joyful Act of Worship”: Survivor Testimony on Czech Culture in the Terezín Ghetto and Postwar Reintegration in Czechoslovakia, 1945–48

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  • Regional and National History
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This article examines memoirs by three survivors of the Terezín (Theresienstadt) ghetto, and especially their testimony about the cultural life of the ghetto, in the context of postwar reintegration. Czech Jewish survivors of the concentration camps returned to a society very different from the prewar Czechoslovakia they remembered. Many found themselves struggling to adapt to the rejection of German-language culture, the shift to the political Left, and postwar antisemitism. The authors of these memoirs were bilingual and thus represented both Czech- and German-language prewar cultures. In their memoirs, they described their intense love of the specifically Czech works performed in Terezín. In doing so, they attempted to establish common ground with their non-Jewish fellow Czechs and to overcome the suspicion engendered by their prewar association with German-language culture.

Journal Article.  8757 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Military History ; Regional and National History ; Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing

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