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Rita Horváth

Research Fellow (10/2017–05/2018)


Negotiating Anger and Memory. Experiences of Hungarian Jewish Child Forced Labourers in Vienna and its Vicinity in 1944–1945 in Literary Memoirs and Testimonies


HORVATHThe experiences of Hungarian Jewish child forced labourers in Vienna and its vicinity in 1944/1945 as related in their testimonies and literary memoirs are the focus of this project. One of the special characteristics of this chapter of the Holocaust is that the majority of the witness accounts were given by former deportees who had been children at the time. Therefore, children’s memories have an especially prominent role in informing us about Viennese forced labour. This project explores the significance of this phenomenon and demonstrates what a wealth of crucial information we can learn from these child survivors.


I shall focus on literary and historical research methods to explore these texts, finally comparing them with other child-survivor testimonies that were given to large-scale testimony-collecting projects. I aim to identify the central topics and their roles within the entire story, as well as the major emotions informing the memoirs and testimonies of child survivors of Viennese forced labour.


Rita Horváth is a literary scholar and historian. She received her Ph.D. from Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan in 2003. Since 2010, she has been a Research Associate at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, Brandeis University and a research fellow at the International Institute for Holocaust Research in Yad Vashem. From 2004, she taught in the Holocaust Studies Programme at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest and between 2005 and 2012 she taught English literature courses and Holocaust literature courses at Bar-Ilan University. Her fields of research are the history of the Holocaust in Hungary, Holocaust literature, trauma, and literary theory.

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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is funded by:


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