1st Edition

Encountering Nazi Tourism Sites

By Derek Dalton Copyright 2020
    220 Pages 52 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    220 Pages 52 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Encountering Nazi Tourism Sites explores how the terrible legacy of Nazi criminality is experienced by tourists, bridging the gap between cultural criminology and tourism studies to make a significant contribution to our understanding of how Nazi criminality is evoked and invoked in the landscape of modern Germany.

    This study is grounded in fieldwork encounters with memorials, museums and perpetrator sites across Germany and the Netherlands, including Berlin Holocaust memorials and museums, the Anne Frank House, the Wannsee House, Wewelsburg Castle and concentration camps. At the core of this research is a respect for each site’s unique physical, architectural or curatorial form and how this enables insights into different aspects of the Holocaust. Chapters grapple with themes of authenticity, empathy, voyeurism and vicarious experience to better comprehend the possibilities and limits of affective encounters at these sites.

    This will be of great interest to upper level students and researchers of criminology, Holocaust studies, museology, tourism studies, memorialisation studies and the burgeoning field of ‘difficult’ heritage.

    List of figures


    Introduction: surveying the Holocaust tourism memorial field in Germany

    1 Profane splendour: the Wannsee House

    2 The Topography of Terror: the foundations of Nazi rule

    3 Wewelsburg Castle: against an SS phantasia

    4 The Anne Frank House/Museum

    5 Concentration camp tourism in Germany: two encounters

    6 The Jewish Museum Berlin: encountering trauma

    7 Berlin Holocaust memorials: marking past atrocity in the space of the city

    Conclusion: Nazi crime-related tourism in contemporary Germany



    Derek Dalton is an Associate Professor conducting research into gay hate homicide, the representation of homosexuality in popular culture, and crime-themed tourism and memorialisation. He lives in South Australia, loves dogs and going to the cinema to see arthouse films.

    'By focusing on the nature of remembrance at sites located within Germany, Encountering Nazi Tourism Sites lends a fresh perspective to the emerging study of tourism that commemorates the victims and exposes the perpetrators of the Holocaust. Derek Dalton recalls both the immense bureaucratic apparatus that made mass murder possible, as well as the considerable challenges facing the institutions charged with presenting this difficult history to subsequent generations. His engaging prose recalls both infamous and more obscure locations on the itinerary of Holocaust tourism, showing how each conveys unique lessons – and runs particular risks – in efforts to educate visitors about the nature of state-sponsored brutality.'

    Professor Daniel P. Reynolds, Grinnell College, Iowa, USA

    'With his incisive new study, Encountering Nazi Tourism Sites, Derek Dalton once again pushes the boundaries of dark tourism scholarship, highlighting his unique criminological contributions to an evolving field. In his meticulous and eloquent book, he traverses multiple memorial sites, capturing their diversity, and unpacking their challenges, achievements and limitations with staggering clarity. In doing so, Encountering Nazi Tourism Sites eschews simple interpretations of Holocaust tourism and memorialisation, instead offering the reader bold encouragement to think beyond accepted accounts to provide a sweeping scrutiny of complex encounters. This essential book will move the reader with its sensitive analysis of the links between memorials and the foundations of remembrance that at their heart carry the terrible weight of death. Derek Dalton never loses sight of this significance, it drives his inquiry and is an issue carefully balanced throughout the pages of this extraordinary book. This is a searching, compelling and perceptive study of a difficult subject.'

    Rebecca Scott Bray, Associate Professor of Criminology and Socio-Legal Studies, University of Sydney, Australia