Narrativization of the News
  • ISSN 1053-6981
  • E-ISSN: 2405-9374
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AbstractThe appearance of Hanna Bloch Kohner on a 1953 episode of the series This Is Your Life is among the earliest presentations of a Holocaust survivor's personal history on American television. Analysis of the program explores how television—a collaborative, corporate medium—shapes the telling of an individual's life story, and how the program relates the story of the Holocaust in terms of personal history. The article also examines how the program's producers employed television's distinctive characteristics to enable, limit, or otherwise shape the presentation of the Holocaust, and how the episode indicates that its creators understood its subject as being somehow singular, even as the conceptualization of the Holocaust was emerging, before the term Holocaust entered American public discourse. The article also considers how the program reflects the social and political context of post-World War II America in general and postwar American Jewish life in particular. Finally, the article considers how analysis of this program offers insight into other, later presentations of the Holocaust on American television, especially those dealing with the life story of an individual survivor. (Yiddish Studies/Jewish ethnology)


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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