(They Live Gear) Dr. Amy Kerner: “Bridge to Nowhere: Yiddish in Argentina from the Holocaust to the Dirty War”

Published on Apr 29, 2021
From the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies on Sunday, October 18, 2020, 2 p.m. CST.

Dr. Amy Kerner, Fellow of the Jacqueline and Michael Wald Professorship in Holocaust Studies.

Jewish Argentines were disproportionately represented among the victims of the “dirty war” between 1976 and 1983, a state-led campaign against so-called “subversives” that left some 30,000 dead. In its aftermath, comparisons to the Holocaust circulated widely. But popular awareness of the Holocaust had existed decades earlier in Argentina, among speakers of the Yiddish language. This talk explains how Yiddish traveled to Argentina, the extent of Yiddish cultural activities there, and the responses of Holocaust survivors upon finding a robust Yiddish cultural center in Argentina after 1945. This history provides a new context for understanding the entanglement of Jewish migration to Argentina, the Yiddish language, and the trauma of the “dirty war.”


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