Silence lies between forgetting and remembering. This book explores how different societies have constructed silences to enable men and women to survive and make sense of the catastrophic consequences of armed conflict. Using a range of disciplinary approaches, it examines the silences that have followed violence in twentieth-century Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. These essays show that silence is a powerful language of remembrance and commemoration and a cultural practice with its own rules. This broad-ranging book discloses the universality of silence in the ways we think about war through examples ranging from the Spanish Civil War and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the Armenian Genocide and South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Bringing together scholarship on varied practices in different cultures, this book breaks new ground in the vast literature on memory, and opens up new avenues of reflection and research on the lingering aftermath of war.
Efrat Ben-Ze'ev is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at the Department of Behavioral Sciences, Ruppin Academic Center, Israel. She has published on Palestinian-Arab and Jewish-Israeli memories of the war of 1948. Ruth Ginio is Lecturer in History at Ben Gurion University of the Negev and a research fellow at the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace in Jerusalem. Her recent publications include French Colonialism Unmasked: The Vichy Years in French West Africa (2006) and Violence and Non-Violence in Africa (as co-editor, 2007). Jay Winter is Charles J. Stille Professor of History at Yale University. He is the author of Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History (1995), and War and Remembrance in the Twentieth Century (as editor, with Emmanuel Sivan, 1999).
Part I. Framing the Problem: Multi-Disciplinary Approaches: 1. Thinking about silence Jay Winter; 2. The social sound of silence: toward a sociology of denial Eviatar Zerubavel; Part II. Europe: 3. Breaking the silence? Memory and oblivion since the Spanish Civil War Mary Vincent; 4. In the ashes of disgrace: guilt versus shame revisited Jeffrey K. Olick; 5. On silence, madness, and lassitude: negotiating the past in post-war West Germany Svenja Goltermann; Part III. Africa: 6. Silences on state violence during the Algerian War of Independence: France and Algeria, 1962-2007 Raphaelle Branche and Jim House; 7. African silences: negotiating the story of France's colonial soldiers, 1914-2009 Ruth Ginio; 8. Now that all is said and done: reflections on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa Louise Bethlehem; Part IV. The Middle East: 9. Facing history: denial and the Turkish national security concept Taner Akcam; 10. Imposed silences and self-censorship: Palmach soldiers remember 1948 Efrat Ben-Ze'ev; 11. Forgetting the Lebanon War? On silence, denial and the selective remembrance of the 'First' Lebanon war Asher Kaufman.