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Wed, 20 Apr 2011 12:02:38 EDT by admin, 144172 views
Cultural Studies paper by Biro, Ruth G. (all papers)
Hungarian Émigré Women Reveal Resiliency in Their Life Stories on the Holocaust: Overcoming Results of Persecution and Reestablishing Identity in the USA
Presentation emphasizes literature in English by Hungarian Jewish women who experienced the Holocaust, immigrated to the United States in the aftermath of WW II, and exhibited resiliency in their transcultural life journey. Women in this study were either hidden, protected by international passes or convert papers, relocated to ghettos and camps, or became displaced persons in the American Zone following the Holocaust. Their individual strengths, support garnered from earlier memories, and assistance from others helped these women achieve resiliency when rebuilding their lives in a new land.
From torn down elements on Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of self-actualization that the Holocaust destroyed, these women sought to reconstruct the decimated basic needs (physiological, safety and security, love and belonging, and esteem and self-esteem) and move on through growth levels of knowledge, aesthetics, and self-actualization --toward transcendence (assisting and mentoring others). Poignant and inspirational messages recall lost families, communities, and culture, reveal accomplishments in reestablishing themselves in transplanted locales, and attest to myriad contributions to families, schools, communities, professions, and Holocaust education centers.
In this study, research questions were posed, over twenty-five books were examined by women over age five, teenagers, or in their early twenties in the Holocaust, and a resiliency framework was developed to assess their success in the USA. These courageous women overcame the consequences of Holocaust persecutions through remembrance, memorialization, and celebration and demonstrated a resiliency that ultimately denied the perpetrators of the Holocaust a victory.
Brief Professional Bio:
Ruth G. Biro holds a B.A. in political science and secondary education from Chatham College, an MLS in K-12 librarianship and international comparative librarianship, and Ph.D. in higher education curriculum from the University of Pittsburgh. Now retired from Duquesne University, she taught courses in children’s and adolescent literature, multicultural and international literature, cultural diversity, intercultural education, and Holocaust perspectives, among others. She was curriculum coordinator for the AHEA Ethnic Heritage Studies Project in 1980-1981. She co-authored the Hungarian –English Picture Dictionary for Young Americans with Miklós Kontra and Zsófia Radnai (Tankönyvkiadó, 1989.) In 1990 and 1991 she directed two Fulbright –Hays Group Projects to Hungary for the US Department of Education. Dr. Biro researches, presents, and publishes on children’s and young adult literature, Righteous Gentiles, Raoul Wallenberg, youth resistance against the Nazis, Hungarian Holocaust literature by women in the USA, and other Hungarian and Hungarian-American topics.