Category Archives: Germany

Would you choose to live a war?

The most logical answer would be “no”, of course. But there are hundreds of occasions in which thousands of people decide to relive wars – and their potential PTSDs – on purpose. Reenactments, for example, so popular in the US.

On one hand, they are part of the trend of romanticizing and nostalgizing the past, just as the reenactments of other, not so traumatic events and activities, like Renaissance fairs and heritage villages, replicas of everyday life of years past. You get a hands-on, or rather eyes-on, play-on education of what the past actually was. What it meant to be witnessing it.

I can understand that. We’ve got some wars that are already far enough in the past for us to accept as part of our national mythology: Revolutionary war, Civil War, Spanish-American war reenactments and even more obscure cowboy gun battles that definitely qualify as non-traumatic reproduction of history snippets. But it’s different when the war in question is so close in time and emotional connection to us like WWII.  Even if we’ve settled into our collective interpretation of such a war, reliving it unsettles us. Continue reading

How important is truth in a story?

fall27The case of Herman and Roma Rosenblat’s love story and what critics called their “fake memoir” definitely makes us reevaluate the narrative role of truth in a story.

Why is it important that a memoir be a true accounts of its author’s life? Obviously, it reflects the way its author remembers it. Yet as we know, the list of memoirs pulled by their publishers grew by one last week to include Angel at the Fence by Herman Rosenblat. He had told a purportedly true story about his concentration camp experience except for one little detail: he made up the girl coming to the fence, throwing apples over it to help him survive. Then, as told by him, he met the same girl on a blind date years later, they recognized each other and married.

Why the literary and publishing scandal? Isn’t it agreed by all a memoir is a partial version of a personal reality, rife of inaccuracies and bias? Continue reading