The wonder of their voices : the 1946 Holocaust interviews of David Boder

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Call Number940.5315 R81w
Dates2010; ©2010
Statement of ResponsibilityAlan Rosen.
Creators & ContributorsRosen, Alan (Alan Charles) (author)
Boder, David P. (David Pablo) (subject)
Summary"This book provides the first full-length case study of early postwar Holocaust testimony, focusing on David Boder's 1946 displaced persons interview project. In July 1946, Boder, a psychologist, traveled to Europe to interview victims of the Holocaust who were in the Displaced Persons (DP) camps and what he called 'shelter houses.' During his nine weeks in Europe, Boder carried out approximately 130 interviews in nine languages and recorded them on a wire recorder. Likely the earliest audio recorded testimony of Holocaust survivors, the interviews are valuable today for the spoken word (that of the DP narrators and of Boder himself) and also for the song sessions and religious services that Boder recorded. Eighty sessions were eventually transcribed into English, most of which were included in a self-published manuscript. Alan Rosen sets Boder's project in the context of the postwar response to displaced persons, sketches the dramatic background of his previous life and work, chronicles in detail the evolving process of interviewing both Jewish and non-Jewish DPs, and examines from several angles the implications for the history of Holocaust testimony.
Such early postwar testimony, Rosen avers, deserves to be taken on its own terms rather than to be enfolded into earlier or later schemas of testimony. Moreover, Boder's efforts and the support he was given for them demonstrate that American postwar response to the Holocaust was not universally indifferent but rather often engaged, concerned, and resourceful." Publisher
ContentsIntroduction: Boder's happy idea
 
  1. I could not help wondering : on Boder's biography and the idea of testimony
  2. Summer, 1946, pt. 1 : the European expedition and the ethnography of testimony
  3. Summer, 1946, pt. 2 : the expansion of testimony
  4. From listening to reading : publishing the interviews
  5. The wonder of their voices : testimony, technology, and wire recorded narratives
  6. Making a study of these things : Boder's interviews in the context of psychology
  7. In divergent tongues and dialects : multilingual interviews and literary experiments
Epilogue: Rewriting the history of Holocaust testimony
Appendix 1: Chronology of interviews: July 29–October 4, 1946
Appendix 2: The disputed number of Boder interviews
Appendix 3: Topical autobiographies of displaced people: volumes I through XVI
Physical Description xvii, 310 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Carrier Typevolume
LanguageEnglish
PublisherOxford : Oxford University Press
NotesIncludes bibliographical references and index
RecognitionGifted in 2011 by Andi Babins & Lynne Fader and their families in honour of Karen Cohen