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Hasia Diner, Whose New Book Debunks Myth of Holocaust Silence Among American Jews, at Museum of Jewish Heritage, June 24

May 28, 2009
N-483, 2008-09

New York University Professor Hasia Diner, whose We Remember With Reverence and Love: American Jews and the Myth of Silence After the Holocaust, 1945-1962 (NYU Press, 2009) debunks the myth of Holocaust silence among American Jews, will discuss the book at the Museum of Jewish Heritage— A Living Memorial to the Holocaust (Edmond J. Safra Plaza, 36 Battery Place, Lower Manhattan) on Wednesday, June 24 at 7 p.m.

Tickets to the event are $5 general admission and free for members. They are available online (www.mjhnyc.org) or by calling the museum box office at 646.437.4202. For more information, contact Betsy Aldredge at 646.437.4337or baldredge@mjhnyc.org.

Silence about the Holocaust among American Jews is not supported by a trove of religious, cultural, and journalistic archival material, Diner concludes in the work. In fact, she writes, “American Jews told and retold details of the catastrophe in multiple forms. Over and over, men and women asserted the necessity of revisiting it in their institutions and organs of public opinion, in all its horrors. By virtue of belonging to the people who had been targeted for extinction and as the victims’ kin, both literal and metaphoric, they considered it their duty to recite the story of the six million.”

Diner adds that these actions “laid the foundation for the better organized, bigger, and more elaborately funded Holocaust projects of the last decades of the twentieth century.”

Diner’s work challenges the existing post-war narrative of the Holocaust that posits American Jews turned away from the genocide in Europe and instead focused on the comforts of suburbia and other benefits generated by the 1950s economic boom. Previous scholars have contended it was the offspring of Holocaust survivors who brought the horrors of World War II to the public sphere-a development that occurred in the 1960s as a result of either the Eichmann trial early in the decade or the June 1967 Six-Day War in Israel.

Diner, a professor in NYU’s Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, has also authored The Jews of the United States, 1645 to 2000 (2004) and The Lower East Side Memories: The Jewish Place in America (2000), among other works. She is the director of the Goldstein-Goren Center for American Jewish History at NYU.

For review copies, contact Betsy Steve, NYU Press, at 212.992.9991 or betsy.steve@nyu.edu. Reporters interested in speaking with Diner should contact James Devitt, NYU’s Office of Public Affairs, at 212.998.6808 or james.devitt@nyu.edu.

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
Graduate School of Arts and Science, Events and Traditions

Type: Press Release

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