Medium 9780253012111

Geographies of the Holocaust

By:
Views: 670
Ratings: (0)

This book explores the geographies of the Holocaust at every scale of human experience, from the European continent to the experiences of individual human bodies. Built on six innovative case studies, it brings together historians and geographers to interrogate the places and spaces of the genocide. The cases encompass the landscapes of particular places (the killing zones in the East, deportations from sites in Italy, the camps of Auschwitz, the ghettos of Budapest) and the intimate spaces of bodies on evacuation marches. Geographies of the Holocaust puts forward models and a research agenda for different ways of visualizing and thinking about the Holocaust by examining the spaces and places where it was enacted and experienced.

List price: $34.99

Your Price: $27.99

You Save: 20%

Remix
Remove
 

7 Slices

Format Buy Remix

1. Geographies of the Holocaust

ePub

Alberto Giordano, Anne Kelly Knowles, and Tim Cole

THE HOLOCAUST DESTROYED COMMUNITIES, DISPLACED millions of people from their homes, and created new kinds of places where prisoners were concentrated, exploited as labor, and put to death in service of the Third Reich’s goal to create a racially pure German empire. We see the Holocaust as a profoundly geographical phenomenon, though few scholars have analyzed it from that perspective.1 We hope this book will change that by demonstrating how much insight and understanding one can gain by asking spatial questions and employing spatial methods to investigate even the most familiar subjects in the history of the Holocaust.

At its most fundamental, a geographical approach to the Holocaust starts with questions of where. Print atlases of the Holocaust, for example, have focused on the location of major concentration camps and Jewish ghettos, the routes of train lines used to transport prisoners to the camps, and the journeys of individual survivors, such as Primo Levi’s path as he sought his way home after being liberated from Auschwitz.2 Other examples include maps of where people were arrested, where they were sent, where they were murdered. The facts of location are basic to understanding any historical event. In the case of the Holocaust, such facts are exceedingly voluminous, because the Nazis kept detailed records of their operations and because many people who were caught up in the events as victims or bystanders recorded where their experiences took place.

 

2. Mapping the SS Concentration Camps

ePub

Anne Kelly Knowles, and Paul B. Jaskot, with Benjamin Perry Blackshear, Michael De Groot, and Alexander Yule

CONCENTRATION CAMPS ARE AMONG THE MOST familiar and haunting places of the Holocaust. Two perspectives have come to dominate our view of the camps. The most powerful and most meaningful for many people is the perspective of victims, which is expressed so movingly in published memoirs, such as Elie Wiesel’s Night and Primo Levi’s If This Is a Man,1 and in thousands of survivor interviews and oral histories. These testimonies naturally refer chiefly to the parts of concentrations camps where victims were allowed or forced to go: the train ramp where they were offloaded, the barracks, the roll-call plaza, the hospital, kitchen, latrines, and the places where inmates were punished or put to death. Reinforced by the stunning photographs taken by Allied forces as they liberated camps such as Bergen-Belsen and by scores of documentaries and feature films about victims’ experiences,2 the spaces where prisoners suffered have come to represent the camps in popular imagination, to the point of becoming visual tropes, along with iconic objects such as barbed wire and crowded wooden bunks.3

 

3. Retracing the “Hunt for Jews”: A Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Arrests during the Holocaust in Italy

ePub

Alberto Giordano and Anna Holian

IN JULY 1943, AFTER A SERIES OF MILITARY DEFEATS and amid growing domestic unrest, Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini was deposed from power and arrested. The new Italian government, headed by Marshal Pietro Badoglio, remained formally allied with the Germans, but also secretly began negotiations with the Allies, who were quickly approaching the Italian mainland from the south. Although the Badoglio government did not undo the system of anti-Semitic measures put in place during the previous years, Jews in Italy were nonetheless hopeful that their trials would soon be over. This was not to be. On September 8, 1943, the Allies announced that an armistice with Italy had been signed. In response, German forces quickly occupied the country. They released Mussolini and installed him as the head of a new Fascist government, the Italian Social Republic (Repubblica Sociale Italiana, or RSI). However, real power now lay in the hand of the Germans. The German occupation signaled the beginning of the Holocaust in Italy.1 Persecuted by Mussolini’s Fascist government, which had passed a series of racial laws in 1938, Jews in Italy were now also subject to deportation and extermination.

 

4. Killing on the Ground and in the Mind: The Spatialities of Genocide in the East

ePub

Waitman Wade Beorn, with Anne Kelly Knowles

“I would like to once again assure you that I never participated in the shooting of civilians. I merely once had to serve in the cordon as Jews were shot.”

German soldier Georg R. describing his role in the murder of one thousand Jews in the town of Krupki, 1964

“A solution of the Jewish Question during the war seems impossible in this area [Belarus] because of the tremendous number of Jews.”

Commander of Einsatzgruppe B, Arthur Nebe, 1941

IN THE LATE SUMMER AND FALL OF 1941, A HOLOCAUST WAS TAKING place across the Soviet Union.1 This was not the Holocaust of popular memory. There were no gas chambers, no train journeys, no barbed wire. This was a “holocaust by bullets,” an intimate iteration of the Nazi genocidal project in which Jews were murdered at home, by killers who found themselves acting in the closest proximity to the victims.2 If Auschwitz has come to symbolize the industrial, assembly-line face of the Holocaust, the murder of approximately one and a half to two million Jews by the Einsatzgruppen (EG) mobile killing squads more closely resembled the domestic system in which work was performed in countless homes dispersed across the countryside.3 Indeed, the metaphorical comparison between factory and cottage industry functions on a regional scale (central location with transportation to factory versus dispersed locations of work) and a microscale (work within the confines of a single building or setting versus work in various structures set in the countryside). The two statements to the left, by perpetrators at the lowest and highest levels of the killing process, serve as a good introduction to this discussion of EG killing in the context of a locational model that examines killing at both a regional and a personal scale and from both a logistical and a moral perspective.

 

5. Bringing the Ghetto to the Jew: Spatialities of Ghettoization in Budapest

ePub

Tim Cole and Alberto Giordano

BUDAPEST WAS ONE OF APPROXIMATELY 150 TOWNS AND cities in Hungary where Jews were restricted to urban ghettos during the Holocaust.1 Elsewhere in occupied Eastern Europe, local officials created ghettos to confine and control Jewish residents or to hold Jews sent from elsewhere.2 While noting that ghettos were not implemented in all occupied cities and towns, the late Raul Hilberg argued in his groundbreaking work The Destruction of the European Jews (1961) that concentration and segregation–the core processes of ghettoization–were central elements of the Holocaust.3 In contrast, Dan Michman–emphasizing the physical place of ghettos contra Hilberg’s process-driven focus on ghettoization–argues that ghettos were limited to a handful of countries in Eastern Europe, that they varied significantly, and were not vital to the destruction process. Michman does see the creation of ghettos in Poland as a “sharp escalation of the Nazis’ anti-Jewish policy,”4 but not the radicalization force in earlier so-called functionalist historiography.5 Whereas Michman seeks to explain ghettoization as a material manifestation of the Nazis’ anti-Semitic perceptions of Ostjuden in Poland, other scholarship more convincingly interprets early Nazi ghetto policy as the urban plank of a broader imperialist project of reshaping and “Germanizing” occupied Poland.6 In contrast to the slim scholarship on the motivations behind ghettoization, a richer historiography of daily life, Jewish institutions, and resistance movements within the ghettos has emerged. Some is comparative,7 but most focuses on individual large ghettos, in particular Warsaw and Łódź.8 Yet very few scholars have examined the material transformation of place-making policies into real places or the geographies of everyday life in the ghetto.9

 

6. Visualizing the Archive: Building at Auschwitz as a Geographic Problem

ePub

Paul B. Jaskot,
Anne Kelly Knowles,
and Chester Harvey, with
Benjamin Perry Blackshear

THE SS TRANSFORMATION OF OŚWIĘCIM INTO KL Auschwitz, Auschwitz-Birkenau (Auschwitz II), and Monowitz (Auschwitz III) has a well-known history. Its roots extend back to Heinrich Himmler’s control over the prewar concentration camp system, in which he emphasized the system’s capacity to utilize forced labor simultaneous with oppression.1 After the war broke out in September 1939, the SS also developed ambitions at Oświęcim to extend its empire and support the military cause. With the Soviet campaign in 1941 and Nazi leaders’ decision to kill all European Jews, SS concentration camps played an increasingly brutal role in both the exploitation of labor and genocide, none more infamously than Auschwitz. Furthermore, due to its provision of forced labor for the IG Farben plant as well as its central geographic location in Nazi-controlled Europe, Auschwitz was a linchpin in carrying out the racist imperialist ideals at the heart of Hitler’s military drive.2

 

7. From the Camp to the Road: Representing the Evacuations from Auschwitz, January 1945

ePub

Simone Gigliotti, Marc J. Masurovsky, and Erik B. Steiner

THEY DID NOT TELL US WHERE WE WERE GOINGTHEY just said to go–we saw thousands upon thousands of people–there were all these factories that surrounded Auschwitz and all these prisoners joined the march.”1 This commotion, according to Fela Finkelstein, was made all the more menacing by the guards’ threat that “anyone who does not walk, we will shoot, anyone who is weak, we will shoot.”2 From January 17 to 22, 1945, Finkelstein was among an estimated 56,000 Jewish and non-Jewish men, women, and children who were evacuated from forty camps in the Auschwitz camp complex. The conditions of the evacuation journeys, the health of the former camp prisoners, and guards’ abusive treatment of them blatantly contradicted the ostensible intention of their preservation and use as forced labor. Most evacuated prisoners walked between fifty and sixty kilometers to interim locations where they awaited rail transport to take them to concentration camps in the German Reich. The slow pace of the columns, moving at an average of no more than three kilometers per hour, made them more vulnerable to violence and Soviet military attacks. The relocation of Auschwitz prisoners had become urgent because January 12 marked the beginning of the Soviet Army’s Vistula-Oder Offensive, eight days ahead of schedule. After the fall of Kielce, Soviet troops entered the abandoned city of Warsaw on January 17. The liberation of Krakow occurred on January 19, following its encirclement by the Fifty-Ninth and Sixtieth Armies under Marshal Konev. Łódź fell on the same day. On January 20, Soviet forces entered Upper Silesia. Auschwitz’s evidence of life (the warehouses full of stolen goods, clothes, artifacts, immovable prisoners) and death (the crematoria and gas chambers) had to be erased. Time was running out.

 

Details

Print Book
E-Books
Slices

Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Sku
B000000031813
Isbn
9780253012319
File size
27.7 MB
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Sku
In metadata
Isbn
In metadata
File size
In metadata