This study compares the genocidal legacies of Cambodian-Canadian and Jewish-Israeli trauma descendants. Despite important contextual sociopolitical and historical differences, both case studies similarly deviate from the reductionist descendant profile of the pathological, publicly enlisted witness in search of redemptive testimonial voice. Findings thereby allow for a grounded deconstruction of the Euro-Western universalized semiotics of suffering. Set against the above similarities, key differences between Khmer and Jewish self-perceived sense of vulnerability/empowerment, lived experiences of memory and forgetting, and genocide-related moral modes of being not only challenge key axioms in the scholarship and in humanitarian practice but raise epistemological concerns regarding the constitutive role of cultural worldviews often marginalized in sociopolitical analyses.
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