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My parents were killed in Sobibor, but it feels as if I was there: Imagination in my Interviews


Published: Jun 19, 2019
Keywords:
Testimony Demjanjuk trial Holocaust Sobibor trauma
Selma Leydesdorff
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2691-9480
Abstract

During the Demjanjuk trial in Munich (2009–2011), I had the unexpected privilege to interview the Nebenkläger (co-plaintiffs) who testified in court about Sobibor. They related extremely sad stories about losing fathers, mothers, spouses and close family. In this article, I attempt to analyse their extreme loneliness and I wonder how to interpret their fragmented language of trauma. What kind of knowledge did they commit, and in what way are their stories different from the stories told by survivors?

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Author Biography
Selma Leydesdorff, University of Amsterdam
Professor of Oral History and Culture, University of Amsterdam
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