Witnesses In Shoah Analysis

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Witnesses in Shoah served a variety of functions including testifying, persuading and leaving a legacy as well as promoting moral messages. The witnesses play the role of testifiers as they are telling the story of their history by providing their personal testimonies. According to Felman, a witness that testifies is taking responsibility for the truth, as history has to be told from the perspective of a witness to the event (Felman, 90). Furthermore, the function of a witness who testifies is to appeal to the heart of the audience as the story is personal (Wiewiorka, 143). Since the experience is being told from the first person perspective, it can be more easily understood. The personal stories told by the survivors also make the events…show more content…
Their survival meant that they had to live with what happened and establish a legacy. Witnesses in Shoah forced the audience to confront issues in the Holocaust. For instance, the meaning of contemporary Jewish identity was ambivalent, primarily in America. The Holocaust was a watershed moment in history and it has led to the Americanization of the event (Wiewiorka, 117). The term is derived from the fact that a largely European event has been largely integrated into American culture (Wiewiorka, 118). This reinforces the idea that the memory of the Holocaust has different meanings in different environments and contexts. It is important to acknowledge that this remembrance is important as the most important meaning belongs to the witnesses and what it means to them. The process of remembrance has been largely affected by the different national agendas that countries have. Thus, witness accounts help to educate different people with differing views. The final role of witnesses in Shoah was to spread a moral message. Moral messages can only be effectively delivered by people who have experienced the brutality of the Holocaust as they possess an advantage in delivering the…show more content…
Witness testimony should not encourage a singular identification to take place. Thus, testimonies must be taken from a wide scope of witnesses in order to provide diverse points of view (Wiewiorka). By including diverse points of view, the audience will be able to get a more comprehensive view of the event, rather than a narrow and biased view from a single group. The effect of having more diverse set of perspectives is that it will be able to evoke emotions in a wider group of audiences. This is due to the fact that audiences will no longer be restricted to identifying with a single group. In the case of Shoah, audiences have the option of identifying with victims, bystanders or perpetrators (Wiewiorka,
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