Stalags is a 2008 documentary film produced by Barak Heymann and directed by Ari Libsker. The film examines the history of Stalags, a genre of pornographic comic books popular in Israel in the 1960s. The Stalags were based on a stock plot, in which erotically drawn Nazi women sexually exploit male prisoners of war. The comic books broke sales records and sold hundreds of thousands of copies in the period of the Adolf Eichmann trial. After the authors of the books were accused of distributing anti-Semitic pornography, the popularity of the books declined. In raising questions about the connection between taboo imagery and repressed history, eroticism and violence, the film offers a daring perspective on Holocaust memory in Israeli society. Ari Libsker is an Israeli documentary filmmaker and journalist, who writes for the newspaper Calcalist. He is best known for his films Circumcision and Home Poem, as well as his artistic activism through the journals Maayan and Maarvon.
Hannah Pollin-Galay is an interdisciplinary scholar of Holocaust and Memory Studies. Her research, which draws from both literature and history, explores the connection between spoken language and memory in atrocity testimony. She is the author of Ecologies of Witnessing: Language, Place and Holocaust Testimony (forthcoming, Fall 2018), which compares oral narratives across linguistic and geographic boundaries. Pollin-Galay has published articles in journals such as Jewish Social Studies, Holocaust and Genocide Studiesand Prooftexts, as well as scholarly reviews for The Oral History Review and Studies in American Jewish Literature.
This presentation is part of a lecture series entitled Witnessing Otherwise, organized by Hannah Pollin-Galay, IHGMS Faculty Fellow and UMass Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of English.