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People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present (2021)

af Dara Horn

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
3122584,557 (4.4)45
History. Politics. Sociology. Nonfiction. A startling and profound exploration of how Jewish history is exploited to appease the living. Renowned and beloved as a prizewinning novelist, Dara Horn has also been publishing penetrating essays since she was a teenager. Often asked by major publications to write on subjects related to Jewish culture??and increasingly in response to a recent wave of deadly antisemitic attacks??Horn was troubled to realize what all of these assignments had in common: she was being asked to write about dead Jews, never about living ones. In these essays, Horn reflects on subjects as far-flung as the international veneration of Anne Frank, the mythology that Jewish family names were changed at Ellis Island, the blockbuster traveling exhibition Auschwitz, the marketing of the Jewish history of Harbin, China, and the little-known life of the "righteous Gentile" Varian Fry. Throughout, she challenges us to confront the reasons why there might be so much fascination with Jewish deaths, and so little respect for Jewish lives unfolding in the present. Horn draws upon her travels, her research, and also her own family life??trying to explain Shakespeare's Shylock to a curious ten-year-old, her anger when swastikas are drawn on desks in her children's school, the profound perspective offered by traditional religious practice and study??to assert the vitality, complexity, and depth of Jewish life against an antisemitism that, far from being disarmed by the mantra of "Never forget," is on the rise. As Horn explores the (not so) shocking attacks on the American Jewish community in recent years, she reveals the subtler dehumanization built into the public piety that surrounds the Jewish past?? making the radical argument that the benign reverence we give to past horrors is itself a profound affront to… (mere)
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» Se også 45 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 25 (næste | vis alle)
I thought this book was just so well done. What the author went through was horrendous. But how she weaved it into her adult life was fascinating. Love the insight she brought as a psychiatrist to all of this. I was definitely moved by reading this. ( )
  bermandog | Mar 30, 2024 |
A very powerful discussion of anti-Semitism that offers new ways of looking at the Holocaust. ( )
  monicaberger | Jan 22, 2024 |
3.75 ( )
  Moshepit20 | Oct 7, 2023 |
Dara Horn’s People Love Dead Jews is a must-read.

The book starts off with a fascinating treatise on Anne Frank’s diary and its popularity because it is hopeful even though the reader knows that she will be dead in the concentration camps.

Following chapters talk about Jewish Heritage Sites that really mean property seized from dead or expelled Jews. On a tour of a cemetery near Harbin, the tour director explains that in 1958 the local government was redesigning the city—cemetery had to go-Chinese offered to move the gravestones for $50 per grave but most Jewish families were gone. The Chinese put the bodies into a deep burial which was paved and turned into an amusement park. The tour director said, “It’s nice for them—they are with happy people!!!”

A horrifying section explains how Jewish boys wanted to be part of the Roman Olympics and to disguise their religion by attempting surgery to undo their circumcision—dangerous and fatal
She explains how the Hanukah story where Jews are threatened to be annihilated, it’s really about destroying Jewish civilization and leave warm and fuzzy de-Jewish bodies intact. This equates to cool Jews. She talks about how the Soviet Union practiced this de-Jewing process-eliminating religion from the lives of Jews.

The chapter on Ellis Island and the Jewish immigration is enlightening. How Jews let antisemitism flourish because of name changing to non-Jewish sounding last names is dissected brilliantly by the author. When the immigrants were asked why they changed their name-antisemitism was never mentioned as the reason. Too difficult to pronounce or spell or too foreign-sounding. Only non-Jews who had Jewish-sounding last names explained their reason was antisemitism and they didn’t want to be mistaken as Jewish.

The little-known Varian Fry who rescued artists during WW2 is explored in-depth—whether it should have been the righteous saved rather than the artists.

Author, Dara tries to give a positive spin in the last chapter, but by that time the reader is so horrified that it is difficult to feel hopeful. ( )
  GordonPrescottWiener | Aug 24, 2023 |
Horn shows, among other things, that American stories about the Holocaust usually have happy endings - the Jew or Jews are saved, often with the aid of caring Christians. Yiddish stories, on the other hand, just show the devastation because, for the most part, there were no righteous Christians or anyone else saving the persecuted. It's Horn's contention that people love Anne Frank because she's dead and because of her positive statements, especially "Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart." Soon Anne found people who were not really good at heart. This is a powerful book about antisemitism throughout the ages and how we are encouraged to overlook it. ( )
1 stem Citizenjoyce | Aug 14, 2023 |
Viser 1-5 af 25 (næste | vis alle)
Horn’s main insight is that much of the way we’ve developed to remember and narrate Jewish history is, at best, self-deception and, at worst, rubbish. The 12 essays in her brilliant book explore how the different ways we commemorate Jewish tragedy, how we write about the Holocaust, how the media presents antisemitic events, how we establish museums to honor Jewish heritage, how we read literature with Jewish protagonists and even how we praise the “righteous among the nations” (those who saved Jews during the war), are all distractions from the main issue, which is the very concrete, specific death of Jews.

Even though each chapter reveals a different blind spot in our collective memory — ranging from Horn’s visit to the Museum of Jewish Heritage in downtown Manhattan to her travel to the Jewish sites in Harbin, China — all the essays in the book show that when we learn to remember certain things in certain ways, we set the limits of what can be said, and what cannot be said, even as we might have the urge to say it. Horn thinks it’s about time to say it, and this is why her book is at the same time so necessary and so disquieting.
tilføjet af NZFOI | RedigerNew York Times, Yaniv Iczkovits (pay site) (Sep 8, 2021)
 
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Sometimes your body is someone else’s haunted house.
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It occurs to me that Jewish tradition, like every tradition, is designed to protect against oblivion, capturing ancient experiences in ritual and story and passing them between generations—-
The Holocaust didn’t happen because of a lack of love. It happened because entire societies abdicated responsibility for their own problems, and instead blamed them on the people who represented - have always represented . . . the thing they were most afraid of: responsibility.
Some other people might go to Holocaust museums to feel sad, and then to feel proud of themselves for feeling sad. They will have learned something officially important, discovered a fancy metaphor for the limits of Western civilization. The problem is that for us, dead Jews aren't a metaphor, but rather actual people that we do not want our children to become. (189)
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History. Politics. Sociology. Nonfiction. A startling and profound exploration of how Jewish history is exploited to appease the living. Renowned and beloved as a prizewinning novelist, Dara Horn has also been publishing penetrating essays since she was a teenager. Often asked by major publications to write on subjects related to Jewish culture??and increasingly in response to a recent wave of deadly antisemitic attacks??Horn was troubled to realize what all of these assignments had in common: she was being asked to write about dead Jews, never about living ones. In these essays, Horn reflects on subjects as far-flung as the international veneration of Anne Frank, the mythology that Jewish family names were changed at Ellis Island, the blockbuster traveling exhibition Auschwitz, the marketing of the Jewish history of Harbin, China, and the little-known life of the "righteous Gentile" Varian Fry. Throughout, she challenges us to confront the reasons why there might be so much fascination with Jewish deaths, and so little respect for Jewish lives unfolding in the present. Horn draws upon her travels, her research, and also her own family life??trying to explain Shakespeare's Shylock to a curious ten-year-old, her anger when swastikas are drawn on desks in her children's school, the profound perspective offered by traditional religious practice and study??to assert the vitality, complexity, and depth of Jewish life against an antisemitism that, far from being disarmed by the mantra of "Never forget," is on the rise. As Horn explores the (not so) shocking attacks on the American Jewish community in recent years, she reveals the subtler dehumanization built into the public piety that surrounds the Jewish past?? making the radical argument that the benign reverence we give to past horrors is itself a profound affront to

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