The most famous poem of the Holocaust
Source TitleMentalities = Mentalites
PublisherThe Institute for the History of Mentalities
University of Melbourne Author/sAbramovich, Dvir
AffiliationSchool of Historical and Philosophical Studies
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsAbramovich, D. (2020). The most famous poem of the Holocaust. Mentalities = Mentalites, 33 (1), pp.1-14
Access StatusAccess this item via the Open Access location
Open Access URLPublished version
The essay examines “Death Fugue” Paul Celan’s most celebrated and anthologised poem, and a work which has become the most famous work of the Holocaust. Today, every German pupil knows the text since it is required reading in German high schools and often quoted in art and film, it has been canonised to the extent that it is part of the official ritual of remembrance in Germany. The article explores how Death Fugue” is a meditation on the directly the annihilation of European Jewry, using an intermix of metaphors, mysterious imagery , associations and biblical and modern themes to produce a work of art of unparalleled power.
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