Gigliotti - Chapter 03 | eBooks | Non-Fiction

Gigliotti - Chapter 03

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Ghetto Departures

The Emplotment of Experience

The unmaking of the modern railway experience began before victims were forced to board the trains. Roundups, unannounced inspections, ruthless extractions from apartments, and beatings were all features of the forced relocation from ghettos, towns, and villages. Observing the deportation of Jews from Salonica, Greece, Rosa Miller wrote: "And the Jews emerge, weighed down by their rucksacks, their bundles, their bags, loaded with baskets containing food for the journey ahead. Children press close to their parents, uncomprehending, fearfully following their every move. Older people have difficulty in walking, they stumble and fall sometimes, but everybody must carry their burden. Young people walk out defiantly, head up, completely silent." Using Miller's description as a departure point, I analyze victims' testimonies of departure from ghettos in different locations across Europe. I explore what they were discussing, responding to, and witnessing at each critical stage of transit, of which I identify three: identification and roundups, assembly and waiting, and boarding the trains.

Ghetto DeparturesThe Emplotment of ExperienceThe unmaking of the modern railway experience began before victims were forced to board the trains. Roundups, unannounced inspections, ruthless extractions from apartments, and beatings were all feature
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