Die (Un)möglichkeit des Seins in Sally Perels Autobiografie Ich war Hitlerjunge Salomon

Habib Tekin


Sally Perel is a German-Jewish author and Holocaust survivor. During WW2, he tried to protect himself by camouflaging as an ‘Arian’ member of the Hitler Youth, thereby leading a double life as a perpetrator and victim in one person. In Perel, these two identities got along like fire and water and were still present in the same body.

This article explores Perel’s autobiography entitled Ich war Hitlerjunge Salomon, focusing on the representation of life experiences and the depiction of National Socialist mechanisms through the eyes of a contemporary witness. Based on theories by Theodor W. Adorno, this study analyzes Perel’s text as an example of the resistance against forgetting and the conscious memorization of atrocities.

Thus, Perel’s text is regarded against the backdrop of Adorno's theories, such as Erziehung zur Entbarbarisierung, Erziehung zur Mündigkeit, Erziehung nach Auschwitz and Aufarbeitung der Vergangenheit. Subsequently, it is investigated with focus on the (im)possibility of existence. In other words, Perel’s opposing life as a member of the Hitler Youth and a Jew but also his identification with those ethnicities are illustrated in the given paper.



Sally Perel; Hitler Youth; Holocaust; Adorno; remembrance culture

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Moderna språk - Romanska och klassiska institutionen - Stockholms universitet - SE-106 91 STOCKHOLM
ISSN: 2000-3560