Interdisciplinary journal focusing primarily on sociological, political science and historical perspectives on the issue of long-term social processes and trends, modernization, globalization tendency and impacts.

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Published by Charles University in Prague, Karolinum Press, cooperated with Faculty of Humanities, Charles University in Prague.

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HISTORICKÁ SOCIOLOGIE, Vol 8 No 1 (2016), 33–51

Pluralita identit v autobiografickém vyprávění československých Židů žijících v zahraničí

[Plurality of Identities in the Autobiographical Narratives of Czechoslovak Jews Living Abroad]

Jakub Mlynář

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14712/23363525.2016.2
announced: 08. 06. 2016


This article explores selected aspects of narrative expression of identification with social entities in Holocaust survivors’ oral history testimonies, including the related conflicts of identities. In its empirical dimension, the study is based on secondary analysis of archived interviews with people born in Czechoslovakia and labelled as Jews by the Nürnberg laws, who had left Czechoslovakia and remained abroad. Oral history interview is conceived as a social and linguistic interaction of interviewer and interviewee, aiming towards collaborative production of a comprehensible account of the past. The results show how the religious, ethnical, political and national identity of narrators is expressed in the interview as a part of the life-story plot. Second explored topic is the spoken tongue as an attribute of national identity during the pre-war, war and postwar period. Considering the characteristics of the analysed interview-sample it is precisely the (absence of) language knowledge, which is reflected in the interviews as an obstacle that had to be overcome by the narrators, often quite soon after the traumatic events of the wartime.

keywords: holocaust; Jews; migration; oral history; collective identity; language; narrative

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