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In the immediate years following the end of World War II, American Jews, through their communal institutions, went about the process of creating a memorial culture which hallowed the memory of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. Text by text, artifact by artifact, and act by act, they experimented with words and deeds to both remember those who had been so ruthlessly killed and to affect changes in the Jewish world and in America. Rather than avoiding the catastrophe, as so many historians have asserted, American Jews considered themselves obliged to remember and to tell themselves, their children and the larger American world about what had happened.
Hasia Diner is the Paul S. and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History at New York University, where she directs the Goldstein-Goren Center for American Jewish History. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2010-11. Her recent book, We Remember with Reverence and Love: American Jews and the Myth of Silence after the Holocaust, 1945-1962, won the 2010 National Jewish Book Award for American Jewish Studies.
Professor Diner spoke during the annual Berger Family Holocaust Lecture, on Tuesday, April 5, at 7:00PM in the Pugh Center.