“Places that Have Lost Their Memory”: Landscapes of Postmemory in the Pepper Forgers. A Family History by Monika Sznajderman

Keywords: Landscape of postmemory, Holocaust, Monika Sznajderman, places without memory, emptiness


Monika Sznajderman reconstructs the experiences of her Jewish family from her father’s side in her commemorative prose. From the postmemory perspective of the future generations, she deals with the traumatic effects of past experiences, pre-war life and extermination during the war. This article analyses the way of experiencing the landscape, and its literary depiction, after the Holocaust, stressing the transgenerational transmission of experiences and the double perception of places. The landscapes of post-memory are contaminated by a dominant feeling of emptiness, the absence of their former residents and the memories (or silence) of the survivors. The specific places of family history visited by the author are suspended between the past and the present. The simultaneous presence and lack of any traces of former Jewish life marks them with an aura of incredibleness. In this article, the role of the family’s photographs that survived the Holocaust is also highlighted, testifying to the existence and everyday life of their Jewish ancestors and showing the “places that have lost their memory”.


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