1st Edition

Visitor Experience at Holocaust Memorials and Museums

Edited By Diana I. Popescu Copyright 2023
    298 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    298 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Visitor Experience at Holocaust Memorials and Museums is the first volume to offer comprehensive insights into visitor reactions to a wide range of museum exhibitions, memorials, and memory sites.

    Drawing exclusively upon empirical research, chapters within the book offer critical insights about visitor experience at museums and memory sites in the United States, Poland, Austria, Germany, France, the UK, Norway, Hungary, Australia, and Israel. The contributions to the volume explore visitor experience in all its complexity and argue that visitors are more than just "learners". Approaching visitor experience as a multidimensional phenomenon, the book positions visitor experience within a diverse national, ethnic, cultural, social, and generational context. It also considers the impact of museums’ curatorial and design choices, visitor motivations and expectations, and the crucial role emotions play in shaping understanding of historical events and subjects. By approaching visitors as active interpreters of memory spaces and museum exhibitions, Popescu and the contributing authors provide a much-needed insight into the different ways in which members of the public act as "agents of memory", endowing this history with personal and collective meaning and relevance.

    Visitor Experience at Holocaust Memorials and Museums offers significant insights into audience motivation, expectation, and behaviour. It is essential reading for academics, postgraduate students and practitioners with an interest in museums and heritage, visitor studies, Holocaust and genocide studies, and tourism.

    Introduction: Visitors at Holocaust Museums and Memory sites

    Diana I. Popescu

    Part I: Visitor Experience in Museum Spaces

    1. Mobile Memory; or What Visitors Saw at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum                 Michael Bernard-Donals
    2. Visitor Emotions, Experientiality, Holocaust, and Human Rights: TripAdvisor Responses to the Topography of Terror (Berlin) and the Kazerne Dossin (Mechelen)
    3. Stephan Jaeger

    4. "Really made you feel for the Jews who went through this terrible time in History" Holocaust Audience Re-mediation and Re-narrativization at the Florida Holocaust Museum
    5. Chaim Noy

    6. Understanding Visitors’ Bodily Engagement with Holocaust Museum Architecture: A Comparative Empirical Research at three European Museums
    7. Xenia Tsiftsi

    8. Attention Please: The Tour Guide is Here to Speak Out. The Role of the Israeli Tour Guide at Holocaust Sites in Israel
    9. Yael Shtauber, Yaniv Poria, and Zehavit Gross

    10. The Impact of Emotions, Empathy, and Memory in Holocaust exhibitions: A Study of the National Holocaust Centre & Museum in Nottinghamshire, and the Jewish Museum in London
    11. Sofia Katharaki

    12. The Affective Entanglements of the Visitor Experience at Holocaust Sites and Museums                         Adele Nye and Jennifer Clark

      Part II: Digital Engagement Inside and Outside the Museum and Memory Site

    14. "…It no longer is the same place": Exploring Realities in the Memorial Falstad Centre with the ‘Falstad Digital Reconstruction and V/AR Guide’
    15. Anette Homlong Storeide

    16. "Ways of seeing". Visitor response to Holocaust Photographs at ‘The Eye as Witness: Recording the Holocaust’ Exhibition
    17. Diana I. Popescu and Maiken Umbach

    18. Dachau from a Distance: The Liberation during The COVID-19 Pandemic
    19. Kate Marrison

    20. Curating the Past: Digital Media and Visitor Experiences at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
    21. Christoph Bareither

    22. Diversity, Digital Programming, and the Small Holocaust Education Centre: Examining Paths and Obstacles to Visitor Experience
    23. Laura Beth Cohen and Cary Lane

      Part III: Visitors at Former Camp Sites

    24. The Unanticipated Visitor: A Case Study of Response and Poetry at Sites of Holocaust Memory
    25. Anna Veprinska

    26. "Did you have a good trip?" Young people’s Reflections on Visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and the Town of Oświęcim
    27. Alasdair Richardson

    28. Rewind, Relisten, Rethink: The Value of Audience Reception for Grasping Art’s Efficacy                             Tanja Schult
    29. "The value of being there" -Visitor Experiences at German Holocaust Memorial Sites
    30. Doreen Pastor

    31. "Everyone Talks About the Wind": Temporality, Climate, and the More-than Representational Landscapes of the Mémorial du Camp de Rivesaltes
    32. Ian Cantoni

    33. Guiding or Obscuring? Visitor Engagement with Treblinka’s Audio Guide and Its Sonic Infrastructure

    Kathryn Agnes Huether


    Diana I. Popescu is Honorary Research Fellow at Birkbeck Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of London. Popescu’s research focuses on public history and public reception of violent histories, particularly of the Holocaust. Her work looks at the ethics and the aesthetics of representing racial violence in public art, museum exhibitions and memorial projects and at how members of the public engage with and respond to such representations.