History and Memory Quotes

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Gate 3
“’What for? It won’t bring my mother back.’ Baker’s father’s refusal to visit Treblinka signifies his reluctance to confront painful memories of his past regarding his family. P12 “’Here in this carload, I am Hinda…’ – borrowing a well known Jewish poem and inserting his grandmother’s name serves as a way of representing his grandmother’s past and making sense of it. Baker compiles various documented records and memories from a range of perspectives in order to fill in the gaps and recreate his grandmother’s past that cannot be fully uncovered by history, and that can only and merely be imagined. P15 Baker briefly recounts a visit to the home of the Melbournian who used to clear bodies and sometimes burn them in Treblinka. The model of the camp that he made is his reconstruction of his past experience. Baker shows that representations of the past vary from one individual to the other due to the personal nature of experiences. Gate 5

“I knew that I had to wrap myself in the details of her story, if only to immunize myself against the secret thing that lay here” p23 Gate 6
The vignettes of memory give this narrative its non-linear form. His father’s account forms more of a story that puts together all the personal details of the Holocaust than a historical document with hard facts and details. These stories sparked by feelings, senses and emotion – all of which are lacking in historical records “What do I remember about him? Little things.” P30 – memory encompasses menial, daily tasks and observances. This is different to history, which records on a larger scale without so much detail. Gate 7

“’Fecks, fecks’ he dismisses my efforts to extract facts from his past” p35 – in this instance, memory is seemly more important to the individual because it comes attached with emotions and feelings. Facts seem trivial compared to the experience of his past. This is also an example of how people will shut out facts from their memory concerning the past. “… he was on...
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