Teaching Holocaust Memory Literature in Higher Education: An Autoethnographic View


  • Ilana Elkad-Lehman Levinsky College of Education




autoethnography, culture of memory, Holocaust, teaching Holocaust memory literature, dialogue between Israelis and Germans, transgenerational transfer


In this article, I present my personal story as a teacher-educator who participated in a binational (Israeli-German) teaching project that investigated the reading processes of students belonging to the second and third post-Holocaust generations. The students read literary works in Hebrew, German, and other languages written by members of the second and third post-Holocaust generations. My involvement in the project triggered the question of how to represent their experience of reading the literary works, of the teaching processes, and of what I learned from the process. This led to the writing of an autoethnography that accompanied my work as a teacher-educator in this project.

The autoethnographic writing process was significant for my comprehension of the issue of Holocaust memory due to the fact that I am a second-generation Holocaust survivor. While the experience described is important in understanding the processes that are probably undergone by teachers who are second- and third-generation Holocaust survivors, the manner in which the Holocaust ethos is perceived in Israel precludes discussing them.


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Author Biography

Ilana Elkad-Lehman, Levinsky College of Education

Ilana ELKAD-LEHMAN is a professor in the Multi-Disciplinary Faculty at Levinsky College of Education in Israel, and a researcher at The MOFET Institute. She has published extensively, including two single-authored and three co-authored books (in Hebrew), contributed to numerous scholarly journals (in both Hebrew and English). Her scholarly focus includes qualitative research methods, Hebrew literature and children literature, and the study and instruction of literature. Her current research focuses on reading processes, identities and reading, book clubs, reading and the development of thinking, and the contribution of literary research to qualitative research.




How to Cite

Elkad-Lehman, I. (2018). Teaching Holocaust Memory Literature in Higher Education: An Autoethnographic View. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 19(2). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-19.2.2973



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