Avenues of Intellectual Resistance in the Ghetto Theresienstadt: Escape Through the Ghetto Central Library, Reading, Storytelling and Lecturing Public Deposited

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  • February 28, 2019
  • Intrator, Miriam
    • Affiliation: School of Information and Library Science
  • The Ghetto Theresienstadt served as a facade behind which the Nazis attempted to hide the atrocities they were committing in other ghettos and concentration camps throughout Europe. As a result of its unusual nature, the Nazis sanctioned certain cultural and intellectual activities in the camp. Consequently, there remains a considerable record of the interior lives and personal perspectives of Theresienstadt inmates. Through a close examination of thirty-one Theresienstadt memoirs, diaries and histories, this paper explores the concept of intellectual resistance as a result of participation in some of the camp's intellectual activities - the library, books, reading, storytelling and lecturing. These activities provided prisoners with a means of keeping their minds and imaginations active and alive, allowing them to temporarily escape from the horror surrounding them, and to maintain hope and strength that would help them to survive. As of yet, no single work in English focuses on this topic. This paper strives to fill that void and to encourage librarians to consider the power of literacy and the significance of their responsibilities, particularly in times of terror or war.
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  • In Copyright
  • Carr, David W.
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 97 p.
  • Open access

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