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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
Jean-Marc Dreyfus

From 1945 until around 1960, ceremonies of a new kind took place throughout Europe to commemorate the Holocaust and the deportation of Jews; ashes would be taken from the site of a concentration camp, an extermination camp, or the site of a massacre and sent back to the deportees country of origin (or to Israel). In these countries, commemorative ceremonies were then organised and these ashes (sometimes containing other human remains) placed within a memorial or reburied in a cemetery. These transfers of ashes have, however, received little attention from historical researchers. This article sets out to describe a certain number of them, all differing considerably from one another, before drawing up a typology of this phenomenon and attempting its analysis. It investigates the symbolic function of ashes in the aftermath of the Second World War and argues that these transfers – as well as having a mimetic relationship to transfers of relics – were also instruments of political legitimisation.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Jessica Auchter

The after-effects of mass atrocity – bodies and bones – struggle to be defined within memorial projects. This article seeks to examine the politics at play in displaying dead bodies to interrogate the role of materiality in efforts to memorialise and raise awareness about on-going violences. It focusses on the nexus between evidence, dignity, humanity and memory to explore bone display in Rwanda. It then takes up two artistic projects that play on the materiality of human remains after atrocity: the art of Carl Michael von Hausswolff, who took ashes from an urn at the Majdanek concentration camp and used them as the material for his painting, and the One Million Bones Project, an installation that exhibits ceramic bones to raise awareness about global violence. In thinking about the intersections between human biomatter, art and politics, the article seeks to raise questions about both production and consumption: how bones and ashes of the dead are produced, and how they are consumed by viewers when placed on display in a variety of ways.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Holocaust ashes in and beyond memorial sites and museums
Zuzanna Dziuban

This article focuses on ongoing contestations around burned human remains originating from the Holocaust, their changing meanings and dynamics, and their presence/absence in Holocaust-related debates, museums and memorial sites. It argues that ashes challenge but also expand the notion of what constitutes human remains, rendering them irreducible to merely bones and fleshed bodies, and proposes that incinerated remains need to be seen not as a ‘second rate’ corporeality of the dead but as a different one, equally important to engage with – analytically, ethically and politically. Challenging the perception of ashes as unable to carry traces of the personhood of the of the dead, and as not capable of yielding evidence, I posit that, regardless of their fragile corporality, incinerated human remains should be considered abjectual and evidential, as testifying to the violence from which they originated and to which they were subjected. Moreover, in this article I consider incinerated human remains through the prism of the notion of vulnerability, meant to convey their susceptibility to violence – violence through misuse, destruction, objectification, instrumentalisation and/or museum display. I argue that the consequences of the constantly negotiated status of ashes as a ‘second rate’ corporeality of human remains include their very presence in museum exhibitions – where they, as human remains, do not necessarily belong.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Steve Chibnall

the Ashes , based on Hubert Monteilhet’s novel Phoenix From the Ashes , first published in French in 1961 and in translation in 1963, having bought an option to the film rights from Henri Georges Clouzot. Mirisch had originally scheduled the filming for the early part of 1964, but it was postponed in favour of John Goldfarb. 1 Return From the Ashes (1966) Set in Paris, although filmed

in J. Lee Thompson
David Deutsch

prevalent question in responsa literature dealt with the exhumation of human remains from mass execution sites. Out of the thirty questions posed at the time, there are at least eleven entries directly related to mass exhumation.20 Besides corpses, the literature dealt with other types of human remains. For example, in nine cases the status of human ashes was discussed. This is highly relevant in the context of the Holocaust, since, after mass murder, crematoriums were often used to burn the corpses. In six entries, other types of human remains were discussed (bones, hair

in Human remains in society
Irish-American fables of resistance
Eamonn Wall

‘Catholicism as a monolithic structure is disappearing. Once a man who differed with the party line stole quietly away … He refuses to accept irrelevant sermons, a sterile liturgy, a passé and speculative theology’ (Kavanagh 1967: xi).Though the Cloyne and other reports have driven worshippers away from the Church, the need for reinvention predates these reports. Frank McCourt provides an often quoted and provocative declaration at the beginning of Angela’s Ashes, his best-​selling memoir of his family’s life in Ireland and America: ‘When I look back on my childhood I

in Tracing the cultural legacy of Irish Catholicism
Melmoth’s journey to France
Catherine Lanone

Bunuel’s eerie image of the razor cutting through the eye in Un chien andalou. But Breton seems to find Melmoth particularly compelling, describing it as a great meteorite flashing through the frame of the Gothic window, an endless shower of ashes mysteriously suspended for a brief moment (‘On doit attendre jusqu’à 1820 pour qu’un nouveau météore se détache du cadre rituel de la

in European Gothic
Abstract only
Elizabeth McKellar

The image of late seventeenth-century London as a phoenix rising reinvigorated from the ashes of the Great Fire has been a powerful and persuasive one. The understandable emphasis placed on rebirth by contemporaries, as exemplified by the Monument (see figure 6 ), has been echoed by historians. The ritual cleansing of the medieval city has provided a convenient symbol for

in The birth of modern London
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David M. Bergeron

the episode of the man with his breeches set on fire, whereas Bluett cites a heroic story of escape. The harried, but safe, spectators looked back at the pile of glowing embers, the only remnants of the once-proud theatre building. These timbers, now rendered to ashes, had first stood proudly in The Theatre in the Shoreditch area of London until 1599 when members of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men

in Shakespeare’s London 1613