Holocaust as a social and cultural construct of memory:
trauma factor and victim
MGIMO University, Higher School of Economics-Skolkovo Institute for Law and Development, Moscow, Russia email@example.com
The article deals with concept of Holocaust as social and cultural construct of memory and analyzes role and characteristics of victim role and victim narratives in general trauma discourse and in the context of Holocaust. Witness testimonies and related elements of victim-witness or “moral witness” are perceived as central and most valuable elements of trauma architecture both by historians and by society. Perception of the witnesses’ recollections as “authentic” depends largely on the fact whether these memories comply with the community values and norms shared in a particular society. The author proposes to define a broader victim group of the audience who identify themselves with Holocaust survivors and also go through a symbolic trauma. The central role of witnesses was enabled by victimization of global trauma discourse. At the same time, in Russia Holocaust victims are still pushed aside because of heroic narrative development in regards to Shoa representation.