Tracks of Shame: “Pudore” in the Writings of Female Holocaust Survivors in Italy


This paper analyses testimonial works by four female concentration camp survivors writing in Italian: Giuliana Tedeschi, Maria Arata, Elisa Springer, and Elvia Bergamasco. By focusing on the descriptions of their deportations and looking at their writings through the lens of the notion of pudore (a sense of awkwardness, modesty, or shame), this study examines gender-laden trauma within the historical context of the Holocaust as well as in the autobiographical responses of these women. The gendered reading of the selected texts follows three main threads of displacement, humiliation, and clothing, linking a sense of pudore to the excruciating indignities visited on the bodies and identities of these victims of genocide. The paper concentrates particularly on the liminal phase of the train journey towards and the entry into the camps, which is considered as prelude and ‘initiation’ to the Nazi assault on the victim’s sense of gender identity.

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DOI: 10.14324/111.2057-2212.057

How to Cite

Miglianti, G., (2016) “Tracks of Shame: “Pudore” in the Writings of Female Holocaust Survivors in Italy”, Tropos 3(1).







Giovanni Miglianti (University of Cambridge)




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