History as Seen Through Postcards: A Story of the Lodz Ghetto—Total Isolation

Authors

  • Nitza Davidovitch Education Studies, Ariel University POB 3, Kiryat Hamada, Ariel, Israel
  • Shlomit Ben Ishay Education Studies, Ariel University POB 3, Kiryat Hamada, Ariel, Israel
  • Ruth Dorot The School of Architecture, Ariel University POB 3, Kiryat Hamada, Ariel, Israel

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.15503/jecs2022.1.317.338

Keywords:

documents, postcards, communication, chronicle, Lodz Ghetto, Holocaust, educational system

Abstract

Thesis. This study explores the role of postcards as a historical, documentary, and artistic source depicting the events of the Holocaust, focusing on postcards written or received by inhabitants of the Lodz Ghetto. 78 postcards were translated into Hebrew and on exhibition at the Holocaust and Heroism Memorial Museum in Israel. Research indicates that the postcards served as an authentic and rare source of information as well as understanding the emotions of Jews whose lives were overshadowed by the threat of annihilation.

Methods. The study is a qualitative one, based on the grounded theory approach. Analysis is established on identifying and characterising recurrences in the raw material of findings, with a clear definition of the unit of analysis, to build a hierarchy of the recurrences and themes, and to construct a theoretical model that explains the reality under investigation. Researchers in this method gather information about the life patterns of their subjects as well as the organizational and social structures. Grounded theory assumes that all people who have shared life circumstances also have shared social and psychological patterns, which even if not consciously formulated or expressed grow from the shared experiences.

Results and conclusion. In-depth analysis reveals the historical events from the perspective of the postcard writers, as they experienced them in the ghetto. The postcards sent to the ghetto by relatives and acquaintances reveal their writers’ hopes of reuniting with their family or their extreme despair as they cope with the loss of their family.

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Author Biographies

Nitza Davidovitch, Education Studies, Ariel University POB 3, Kiryat Hamada, Ariel, Israel

Prof. Davidovitch is the Head education Department, head of Quality Assessment and Academic Instruction in Ariel University and the Head of the Israeli Consortium of Faculty Development Centers. Her areas of research interest include academic curriculum development, development of academic instruction, Holocaust awareness and Jewish identity, student exchange programs with Germany and Poland, preservation of the heritage of Jewish sects, and moral education. 

Shlomit Ben Ishay, Education Studies, Ariel University POB 3, Kiryat Hamada, Ariel, Israel

Doctoral student, Education studies, Ariel University

Ruth Dorot, The School of Architecture, Ariel University POB 3, Kiryat Hamada, Ariel, Israel

Dr. Dorot is a lecturer in art history at the School of Architecture at Ariel University-Israel and is involved in various enrichment programs for the general public. Among her activities are: spreading Holocaust awareness and Jewish identity as well as publishing articles about art, literature and interdisciplinary subjects. She has served as curator of exhibitions and sits on the editorial board of professional journals. Ruth Dorot is a member of the Ministry of Culture's Museums' Council. 

She is the author of the following books: Galut Vehitgalut (Exile and Revelation); The Art of Time, The Art of Place; A River without BanksSymbolic Allusion, Temporal IllusionThe Hand in Art. Dr. Dorot is the recipient of the Israel Efrat Award – Bar Ilan University.

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Published

2022-06-30

How to Cite

Davidovitch, N., Ben Ishay, S. ., & Dorot, R. (2022). History as Seen Through Postcards: A Story of the Lodz Ghetto—Total Isolation. Journal of Education Culture and Society, 13(1), 317–338. https://doi.org/10.15503/jecs2022.1.317.338