Conférence Gilad Hirschberger

Jeudi 14 février 2019 de 14h00 à 15h30 – Salle Mélusine – MSHS.

Gilad Hirschberger, The Baruch Ivcher School of Psychology – The Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliy, Israël.

Titre : « The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see: How social representations of collective trauma influence intergroup dynamics ».

Abstract :

Over seventy years have passed since the Holocaust, but current generations of Israelis, Germans, and other European nations are still deeply influenced by the ramifications of this cataclysmic event.

For many Germans, the inability to reconcile the dark past with their present values engenders a need to create a buffer, a Schlussstrich, between past and present, in an attempt to salvage their group image. For Israelis, the Holocaust is deeply engrained into their identity, and serves as the prism through which they assess and understand present-day threats and challenges.

Other European nations who were under Nazi occupation may be motivated to cultivate a collective memory that highlights the positive behaviors of group members during WWII, while minimizing wrongdoings.

In this talk, I will present research conducted in Israel and Europe showing the long term effects of the Holocaust on each group and on relations between the groups. I will further show that the long-term effects of the memory of collective trauma extend beyond victim, perpetrator and bystander groups, and influence seemingly unrelated political processes. Specifically, recent research demonstrates that representations of the Holocaust influence attitudes towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and towards the immigration crisis in Europe. These findings suggest that social-psychological research on contemporary threats and challenges should consider the broader historical context in which events occur.

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