Article by Ivan Segré

Should a Jew who transgresses the Shabbat without being aware of his existence atone for it? Starting from the problem of a self-conscious Jewishness, Ivan Segré examines the bipolarity of Jewish identity, between the facticity of genealogical inscription and the radicality of subjective affirmation. In so doing, he sheds light on the Jewish articulation between individual and collective emancipation: it was not because he knew he was Jewish that Moses decided to leave Pharaoh’s house, but in doing so, he already was…

In 1926, Samuel Schwarzbard assassinated Symon Petloura, the general-in-chief of the Ukrainian nationalist revolution, whose men were responsible for about 40% of the exactions committed during the pogroms that struck the Ukraine during the civil war (1918-1926). Paul Celan was born in Czernowitz, where Schwarzbard lived for a time and is now in Ukraine. Part of his poetry evokes “the widest of rivers”, the long history of anti-Semitic crime that links the history of pogroms to that of the Shoah. Yvan Segré dives into Celan’s poetry and questions, from it, a memory of the Ukraine like the gesture of Samuel Schwarzbard.

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