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Open Access (free)
Kitty S. Millet

This article has two aims: to examine the effects of victim proximity to crematoria ashes and ash pits both consciously and unconsciously in a subset of Holocaust survivors, those who were incarcerated at the dedicated death camps of Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, as well as Auschwitz-Birkenau; and to contrast these effects, the subject positions they produce, with their suppression as the basis both for a strategy of survival during incarceration and for a reimagined identity after the war. Within a cohort of four survivors from Rudolf Reder (Belzec), Esther Raab (Sobibor), Jacob Wiernik (Treblinka) and Shlomo Venezia (Auschwitz), I trace the ways in which discrete memories and senses became constitutive in the formation of the subject prior to and after escape – the experience of liberation – so that essentially two kinds of subjects became visible, the subject in liberation and the subject of ashes. In conjunction with these two kinds of subjects, I introduce the compensatory notion of a third path suggested both by H. G. Adler and Anna Orenstein, also Holocaust survivors, that holds both positions together in one space, the space of literature, preventing the two positions from being stranded in dialectical opposition to each other.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
The afterlives of human remains at the Bełzec extermination camp
Zuzanna Dziuban

in the work of Polish artist and scholar Elzbieta Janicka, the photographic series The Odd Place (2003–​04), the problem of the persistent endurance of the traces of the extermination at the sites at which it took place does not, after all, have a purely symbolic character. In six large-​ format photographs taken at the former Nazi death camps in Poland (Auschwitz-​Birkenau, Majdanek, Treblinka, Sobibór, Chełmno and Bełzec), Janicka captured the air drifting above their grounds, penetrated for years by the ashes resurfacing from the porous graves. The images

in Human remains in society
Forensic and archaeological approaches to locating the remains of Holocaust victims
Caroline Sturdy Colls

163 7 ‘Earth conceal not my blood’: forensic and archaeological approaches to locating the remains of Holocaust victims Caroline Sturdy Colls Introduction ‘Earth conceal not my blood’. It is this statement with which every visitor to Sobibór in Poland was confronted as they entered the memorial site marking the former Nazi extermination camp that existed there from April 1942 to October 1943.1 This echoed the biblical statement in the Book of Job, in which Job pleads ‘O earth, cover not thou my blood, and let my cry have no resting place’.2 Although this line

in Human remains in society
Post-war interpretations of the genocide of the Jews
Tom Lawson

’ in Eastern Europe, Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka, where the racial enemies of the Reich had been put to death. It was also different to institutions like Auschwitz and Majdanek, which combined all the functions of the camp system. But, for Kogon, Buchenwald stood for all. This popular account of the past – it had sold over 135,000 copies by 1947 in Germany alone3 – also had a political purpose in the present and future. The text was part of a much broader programme of ‘re-education’ which attempted to orient the German population away from Nazism, and then reorient

in Debates on the Holocaust
Open Access (free)
Machines of mass incineration in fact, fiction, and forensics
Robert Jan van Pelt

deaths through disease and starvation in the ghettos, they at least welcomed the high mortality. We know that they carefully prepared the massacres by means of shootings. And it took some planning to design and construct the gas chambers in Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, and the original gas chambers, those in Auschwitz (the improvised gas chamber of Block 11 and crematorium 1) and Auschwitz-Birkenau (bunkers 1 and 2, which were originally peasant cottages). But real technical ingenuity and advanced engineering skills became important when the SS commissioned the firm of

in Destruction and human remains
Resisting fascism through the oneiric unconscious
Emily-Rose Baker

in 2010, when the late survivor of the Sobibór death camp, Thomas Blatt, told prosecutors at the trial of accused SS guard John Demjanjuk in Munich: ‘My dreams are so real. I cannot escape. I am still there’ (Blatt in Presinger, 2010 ). Yet episodes containing violent Nazi imagery and Holocaust symbolism – including those in which dreamers are hunted down by the SS, detained within the barbed wire perimeters of

in Dreams and atrocity
Norman Geras

The idea which I shall present here came to me more or less out of the blue. I was on a train some five years ago, on my way to spend a day at Headingley, and I was reading a book about the death camp Sobibor. Headingley, for those who may not know this, is a cricket ground in Leeds. At Sobibor between May 1942 and October 1943, the Germans killed a quarter of a million people. The particular, not very appropriate, conjunction involved for me in this train journey, reading about a place of death while bound one summer morning for an arena of entertainment, had

in The contract of mutual indifference
Jörg Buttgereit’s Nekromantiks
Linnie Blake

of Claude Lanzmann in Shoah (1985) the nine-hour documentary consisting of interviews with survivors of the extermination camps of Auschwitz, Treblinka, Sobibor, Chelmno and Belzec, his task is to bring the past into the present; to indicate through visual representations that the past is never over and done with; that it is absurd to try to erase the trauma that called one’s national subjectivity into being in the first place. For such trauma must be looked upon before it can be healed. In all its viscerality, Buttgereit’s is a project that forces the audience to

in The wounds of nations
Open Access (free)
Élisabeth Anstett
Jean-Marc Dreyfus

first few years of the post-​war period, the people living next to the actual sites of the extermination camps in Poland dug up and sifted through the soil from Treblinka, Sobibór and Bełzec, creating a local gold-​panning rush that constituted a final profanation. This is shown in the excellent account given by 10 10   Human remains in society Zuzanna Dziuban in her chapter on the spatiality of the death sites in Poland. Yet while these same sites have yielded corpses to be identified and returned to their families, they are also destinations for tour operators

in Human remains in society
Searching for the origins of the ‘Final Solution’
Tom Lawson

, ‘Hitler Orders the Holocaust’; Gordon, Hitler, Germans and the Jewish Question, p. 127; Leni Yahil, The Holocaust: The Fate of European Jewry (Oxford, 1990), p. 253; Fleming, Hitler and the Final Solution, p. 66; Helmut Krausnick and Hans Heinrich Wilhelm, Die Truppe des Weltanschuungskrieges: Die Einsatzgruppen der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD 1938–1942 (Stuttgart, 1981), pp. 162–3, this reference is taken from Browning, Origins of the Final Solution, p. 491. 45 Yitzhak Arad, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: The Operation Reinhard Death Camps (Bloomington: IN, 1999), p. 3

in Debates on the Holocaust