Tracing Topographies: Revisiting the Concentration Camps Seventy Years after the Liberation of Auschwitz
Seventy years on from the liberation of Auschwitz, the contributions collected in this volume each attempt, in various ways and from various perspectives, to trace the relationship between Nazi-occupied spaces and Holocaust memory, considering the multitude of ways in which the passing of time impacts upon, or shapes, cultural constructions of space.
Accordingly, this volume does not consider topographies merely in relation to geographical landscapes but, rather, as markers of allusions and connotations that must be properly eked out. Since space and time are intertwined, if not, in fact, one and the same, an investigation of the spaces – the locations of horror – in relation to the passing of time might provide some manner of comprehension of one of the most troubling moments in human history. It is with this understanding of space, as fluid sites of memory that the contributors of this volume engage: these are the kind of shifting topographies that we are seeking to trace. This book was originally published as a special issue of Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Joanne Pettitt and Vered Weiss
Section one: geographies of the Holocaust
1. Life in space, space in life: Nazi topographies, geographical imaginations, and Lebensraum Paolo Giaccaria and Claudio Minca
2. Controversies surrounding the excavation at Börneplatz, Frankfurt am Main, 1987 Joseph Cronin
Section two: remembering and experiencing the concentration camps in the present day
3. "Romantic Auschwitz": examples and perceptions of contemporary visitor photography at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum Imogen Dalziel
4. The concentration camp brothels in memory Nicole Bogue
5. The sacred, the profane, and the space in between: site-specific performance at Auschwitz Samantha Mitschke
Section three: filmic topographies
6. The cinematic city and the destruction of Lublin’s Jews Maurizio Cinquegrani
7. Transcultural engagement with Polish memory of the Holocaust while watching Leszek Wosiewicz’s Kornblumenblau Victoria Grace Walden
Section four: literary topographies
8. Post-witnessing the concentration camps: Paul Auster’s and Angela Morgan Cutler’s investigative and imaginative encounters with sites of mass murder Diana I. Popescu
9. Extra-territorial places in W. G. Sebald’s Austerlitz Melanie Dilly
10. British representations of the camps Sue Vice
Afterword Joanne Pettitt and Vered Weiss
Joanne Pettitt is based in the School of European Culture and Languages at the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.
Vered Weiss is a post-doc working in the Program in Jewish Culture and Society at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.