Throughout Europe, narratives about the past circulate at a dizzying speed, and producing and selling these narratives is big business. In museums, in cinema and opera houses, in schools, and even on the Internet, Europeans are using the power of performance to craft stories that ultimately define the ways their audiences understand and remember history.
Performing the Past offers unparalleled insights into the philosophical, literary, musical, and historical frameworks within which the past has entered into the European imagination. The essays in this volume, from such internationally renowned scholars as Reinhart Koselleck, Jan Assmann, Jane Caplan, Marianne Hirsch, Leo Spitzer, Peter Burke, and Alessandro Portelli, investigate various national and disciplinary traditions to explain how Europeans see themselves in the past, in the present, and in the years to come.
The Hollandsche Schouwburg is a former theater in Amsterdam where, during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, tens of thousands of Jews were assembled before being deported to transit and concentration camps. Before the war, the theater had been an example of Jewish integration in the Netherlands, and after the war it became a memorial for the Jewish victims of Nazi persecution. This book is the first international publication to address all the historical aspects of the site, putting it in a broader European and historical context.