Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2013 08:02:39 +0200
- Forum for Modern Language Studies - current issue
Writing Childhood in Ruth Kluger's weiter leben: Eine Jugend
In her autobiographical text weiter leben: Eine Jugend (1992), Ruth Klüger re-imagines the common understanding of the child survivor's experience of the Holocaust by exploring notions of childish ignorance and challenging symbolic representations of such children as they have appeared in post-war discourse. Klüger asserts the fundamental difference of the child's perspective from that of adults, and also the need not to reduce the individual child's experience to that of a mute, passive group. This article demonstrates that Klüger's treatment of childhood is integral to her call for a critical engagement with the legacy of National Socialism: one which acknowledges the pluralistic nature of memory and experience, and which provokes a productive engagement with the past in the present.