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Memoir Paper/Analysis and Reaction Paper:
Students will read a memoir written by a Holocaust survivor and will write a 3-4 page paper analyzing
how the memoir helps them understand the nature and reality of the Holocaust. Double space, 12 point
font, 1 inch margins. Cite the books page numbers for all details, facts and quotes.
Students will choose one book to read
Holocaust denial is fond of asserting that eyewitness accounts of specific
events are often flawed. This tack, of course, is immediately followed by an
abrupt dismissal of any such account raised in rebuttal to their arguments.
While witnesses to historic events are certainly subject to common human
failings, including memory lapses, incorrect memories and/or understandings
of witnessed events, their testimony often contains statements of such
general scope that it is impossible for observers to deny their accuracy.
(The Nizkor Project, 1991-2009).
Yehuda Bauer, a renowned Holocaust historian notes that survivors who have written memoirs are for
the most part, not historians or psychologists, they do not analyze nor do they dissect. Therefore to
judge or critique their accounts as historical fact is erroneous.
Why then do people write these accounts? Obviously reliving their experiences is painful, at times
excruciating. Is writing a form of catharsis for these individuals?
For this paper students will analyze one of the memoirs. Do not simply retell the individuals story from
beginning to end instead first explain why the person is retelling their story.
Keeping in mind memoirs are based upon the persons subjective memory what do you think are some