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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 31Poland and Hungary: Jewish Realities Compared$
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François Guesnet, Howard Lupovitch, and Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764715

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764715.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

‘Anti-Fascist Literature’ as Holocaust Literature?

‘Anti-Fascist Literature’ as Holocaust Literature?

The Holocaust in the Hungarian Socialist Literary Marketplace, 1956–1970

(p.409) ‘Anti-Fascist Literature’ as Holocaust Literature?
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 31

Richard S. Esbenshade

Liverpool University Press

This chapter shows the surprising presence and force of the Holocaust in the mass-market literature of the late 1950s and 1960s. A key issue is what effect ideology had on memory during a period when often narrow limits on both narrative and language confined all public speech. Concretely, did squeezing Holocaust discourse into the box of 'anti-fascism' invalidate it as Holocaust memory? Post-Cold War historiographical approaches to communist (and other) ideologies have opened up, seeing them not, or not only, as 'false', 'propaganda', and so on but as a framework for discourse, with its own rules and limits, but also with a certain room for manoeuvre. Expanding the parameters of 'Holocaust literature', both in terms of whose experience and which periods are covered, permits a more integrated memory — one that is lacking in the 'memory wars' of the post-communist period. Given the starkness of the metaphors used to describe the allegedly barren landscape of Holocaust literature in socialist Hungary, it is worth examining more closely both the background in terms of Jewish identity and its effects on memory and the system of literary production and control after Stalinism.

Keywords:   Holocaust, mass-market literature, ideology, Holocaust memory, public speech, Holocaust literature, anti-fascism, socialist Hungary, Jewish identity

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