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The Holocaust in the Media

The Holocaust in the Media

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The Holocaust in the Media

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  1. The Holocaust in the Media An international comparative reception study on the documentary 'Night and Fog‘ (Alain Resnais, 1955) Juergen GrimmUniversity of Vienna

  2. Personal Background experiencing the Holocaust in a documentary as a pupil in Germany shocked and ashamed half of my classmates didn’t want to be confronted thinking about national identity Long-term effect ? To get inoculated against fascism and nationalism Is this true for all conditions ? Which communicative, social and cultural circumstances make a humanitarian disaster becoming a motivation for development of humanitarian skills ? 2

  3. General Questions and Research Aims Impartment of history is a key concept of building national identity which is the basis for integration of national societies and manage international peaceful coexistence. How do you have to impart history to reconcile patriotism and cosmopolitism? Which communicative tools are effective for historical knowledge transfer, elaborative historical interpretation schemas, adequate managing of present problems, and impartment of humanity ? Which convergences and divergences of national perspectives are given in Europe regarding eminent historic events like World War II and Holocaust ? Can communication about historical catastrophes help to build an European identity ? 3

  4. International Research Project:Impartment of History on TV Project leader :Prof. Dr. Juergen Grimm (University of Vienna, Austria) Vienna project group:Dr. Josef Seethaler (Academy of Sciences,Vienna, Austria)Prof. Dr. Rainer Gries (University of Jena, Germany)Prof. Dr. Peter Vitouch (University of Vienna, Austria)Prof. Dr. Katherine Sarikakis (University of Vienna, Austria) International cooperation partners:Prof. Dr. Peter Schmidt (HSE, Moscow, Russia)Prof. Dr. Sonia Roccas (University of Jerusalem, Israel)Prof. Dr. Moshe Zuckermann (University of Tel Aviv, Israel)Prof. Dr. Ingrid Volkmer (University of Melbourne, Australia)Prof. Joachim von Gottberg (Association for the Voluntary Self-Regulation of TV)Johannes Dicke (Television Company 3sat) 4

  5. Three Packages of Investigation Network and Content Analysis of the TV-Market for Historical Programs:Reconstruction of format trade and analysis of historical TV programs Media Effect Analysis 1: Experimental effect studies with regard to historical TV formats Media Effect Analysis 2: Representative panel survey on use and effect of historicizing TV formats • Our current research on the Holocaust documentary is in package 2 5

  6. Theoretical Frame 6

  7. Impartment of history isn’t limited to the reconstruction of the past and the building of historical awareness. Impartment of history influences the perception of the present. Basic Assumptions regarding the Impartment of History • Past- and present-related processes of impartment of history 7 7

  8. Research Leading Model:Multidimensional Impartment of History (MIH) I. Processes relating to the past: 1. Transfer of factual knowledge 2. Selection/deduction of messages 3. Change of interpretation patterns 4. Building of historical awareness a. Active search for information b. Abstraction of historical images c. History-based construction of identity II Processes relating to the present: 5. Adjustment of collective awareness of danger 6. Formation of political opinions 7. Lifeworld projections 8. Imparting of Humanity a. Decrease of prejudice b. Aggression management c. Communitas skills d. Political humanitas • Schacter, Daniel L. (1987): Implicit memory: history and current status. In: Journal of Experimental Psychology, 13/3, pp.501-518. • Reder, Lynne M. (ed.) (1996): Implicit memory and metacognition. – New York, London: Psychology Press. • Addis, Donna Rose, Alana T. Wong, and Daniel L. Schacter (2007): Remembering the past and imagining the future: common and distinct neural substrates during event construction and elaboration. In: Neuropsychologia, vol.45, no.7 (April), pp. 1363-1377. • Voss, Joel L., Ken A. Paller (2008): Brain substrates of implicit and explicit memory: The importance of concurrently acquired neural signals of both memory types. In: Neuropsychologia, vol.46, issue 13 (November) , pp.3021-3029. Explicit Memory Implicit Memory 8 8

  9. Basic Assumptions Regarding the Impartment of History • Impartment of history includes • the presentation of factual information and interpretations offered by the media, • selective acquirement of history on the basis of media representations, and • elaborative information processing of history depictions in the media by the recipients including active derivation and forming of judgment for the past, present and future. 9 9

  10. Model of Information Processing and Persuasion:Impartment of History by the Media Persuasion 1 Differentials of Impression Transportation / Narrative Engagement Involvement Identification Reception Process Persuasion 2 selective elaborative • Regarding Past • Deduction of messages • Change of interpretation patterns • Raising history awareness • Message Transfer • Knowledge • Interpretations • Regarding Present • Collective risk perception • Political attitudes • Lifeworld projections • Imparting of Humanity • Collective Identities • National identity (patriotism, nationalism, cosmopolitanism) • European identification • Social group identity The term Imparting of History by the media as employed here includes: a) the presentation of factual information and interpretations offered by the media, b) selective acquirement of history on the basis of media representations, and c) elaborative information processing of history depictions in the media by the recipients including active derivation and forming of judgment for the past, present and future.

  11. The Holocaust in the Media Christiane Grill, Sofia KhomenkoUniversity of Vienna Conducting the experimentin Moscow

  12. Aims and Context of Research • scientific insight into the process of imparting history in the media • exploring the influence of the witnesses to history on the process of imparting history • no commercial or political purpose behind the study

  13. Night and Fog Highly prized documentary by French director AlainRenais (1955) International collaboration Translated into different languages Documentary combined with statements of witnesses to history (victims and perpetrator)

  14. Night & Fog-Experiment with Witnesses to History (Moscow):Experimental Groups G1 Night & Fog, original versionwithout witnesses to history G2 Night & Fog, short version without witnesses to history G3 Night & Fog, short version + Witnesses to history: victim + Witnesses to history: perpetrator G4 Night & Fog, short version + Witnesses to history: victim G5 Night & Fog, short version + Witnesses to history: perpetrator 14 14

  15. Design of the Media Effect Experiment "Night and Fog" t1 Before the film: questionnaire with pre-receptive tests on opinions, attitudes and psycho-social traits; t2 During the film: watching the film; t3 After the film: memory questions and evaluation of the film; post-receptive tests (equivalent to t1). Impact = difference of measurement t1 and measurement t3 The pre-post-method allows us to comment on short-term effects. These can not necessarily be put on a level with long-term effects, but can be understood as indicator for effect tendencies which can intensify with long-term use of similar stimuli. 15

  16. Conducting the Experiment I • Pre-questionnaire: online or printed (must be filled out one or two days before the film presentation) • Room for film presentation: • Single or small groups (up to 3 persons) (preferred) • Bigger groups under controlled conditions (no communication between subjects) • Post-questionnaire: online or printed (immediately after the film) • Registration and appointment • Timetable with available dates for the film reception and the post-questionnaire online • Registration via mail to • Prae-questionnaire 2 days before the appointment

  17. Conducting the Experiment II • How students can be informed about the study? • via mail of the HSE among students • presentation of the project in courses • Recruitment of subjects • 250 subjects, if possible more • students and non-students • older subjects (50+), if possible, with help of students or others

  18. Additional Qualitative Study audio-visual interviews using modern high definition camera equipment

  19. (1) Interviews with the participants of the experiment: Additional Qualitative Study Feelings and opinions regarding "Night and Fog" explore identity awareness find out how subjects deal with history Identify trans-cultural differences among the subjects of different age-groups evaluate attitudes of modern Russian people with regard to the past

  20. Feelings and opinions regarding "Night and Fog" Experiences in World War II find out how subjects deal with history Additional Qualitative Study (2) Interviews with older Russian people including war veterans (optional): 20

  21. Collaboration between Austria and Russia • Christiane and Sofia organizing the experiment • Collaboration with one of your students for his/her exam thesis • Access to all results of the international comparative study of "Night and Fog” • Forming a mixed research group with Moscow colleagues • Joint publication

  22. Thank you for your attention! We are looking forward collaborating with you! 22