International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Memory, Forgetting, and History Education in Greece: The Case of Greek Jews History as an Example of “Catastrophe Didactics”
Dimitris K. Mavroskoufis

This article operates on two main levels: it utilizes the theoretical framework of memory studies in order to examine the place of Greek Jews in the context of contemporary social and cultural memory in Greece on the one level, and it studies the case of Greek Jews from the point of view of history education on the other. The study points out that the viewpoints and the reactions of contemporary Greeks to the past and the present of their Jewish compatriots are very contradictory. Besides this, the dominant ideology and the conservative perception of national identity seem to be exclusive of “otherness”. So, Greek Jews do not constitute a strong part of historical memory; their past and present, in contrast to the “official memory”, is very marginal. In consequence of this, contemporary Greeks, even student teachers, do not have sufficient knowledge about the roots of Jews in Greece, about their culture or about the Holocaust. History education is, from this point of view, an example of “deafening silence”, an example of how so-called “catastrophe didactics” can operate.

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