The work of testimony in the age of decolonization: Chronicle of a summer, cinema verité, and the emergence of the holocaust survivor

Michael Rothberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The trial of Adolf Eichmann, in 1961, is generally considered a turning point in the history of Holocaust memory because it brought the Holocaust into the public sphere for the first time as a discrete event on an international scale. In the same year, Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin's film Chronicle of a Summer appeared in France. While absent from scholarship on memory of the Nazi genocide for over forty years, Chronicle of a Summer contains a scene of Holocaust testimony that suggests the need to look beyond the Eichmann trial for alternative articulations of public Holocaust remembrance. This essay considers the juxtaposition in Chronicle of a Summer of Holocaust memory and the history of decolonization in order to rethink the "unique" place that the Holocaust has come to hold in discourses on extreme violence. The essay argues that a discourse of truth and testimony arose in French resistance to the Algerian war that shaped and was shaped by memory of the Nazi genocide. (MR)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1231-1246+1420
JournalPMLA
Volume119
Issue numberPART 5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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