Semester: Wintersemester 2017/2018
3.90.136 Gender and Genocide - Study Trip to Berlin and Ravensbrück
- Di , 24.10.2017 10:00 - 21:00
- Do , 26.10.2017 09:00 - 18:30
- Fr , 08.09.2017 15:00 - 16:30
- Mi , 11.10.2017 16:00 - 19:00
- Mi , 25.10.2017 09:00 - 19:00
- Mo , 23.10.2017 10:00 - 15:00
- So , 22.10.2017 15:00 - 19:00
- The study trip takes place from 22 to 26 October (all day).
EMMIR-Study Trip: Genocide and Gender
October 22 – 26, 2017
Since the second half of the 20th century, the term ‘genocide’, coined by Raphael Lemkin in the 1940s, has become central in international discourses and conventions as well as in research on mass killings and atrocities. The systematic murder of European Jews during the National Socialist Regime is considered the key case of genocide initiated and executed by a modern state’s bureaucratic apparatus backed by the majority of ‘ordinary’ men and women.
The study trip provides an introduction to Nazi genocidal politics, its implementation and consequences. Starting right after the seizure of power (‘Machtergreifung’) in 1933 the ideal of a German ‘Arian community’ constituted the basis of many forms of societal exclusion and persecution with often lethal consequences for individuals and groups – Germans as well as people with different national and ethnic origin. Hundreds of concentration camps were core sites of the Nazi regime’s strategy for intimidating, punishing, segregating or eliminating those who deviated from the political and societal order and norms of the imagined racialized community. Both, the detention in concentration camps (where death was omnipresent) and the systematic killing in specialized extermination camps resulting in the Holocaust, were interwoven with forms of forced migration and labour.
The Nazi past is not just an important historical case of extreme violence; it is also a crucial reference point not only in German and European but also in global memory discourses. Given the fact that atrocities committed before and after the Holocaust have caused further legacies of traumatic experiences and play a crucial role for individuals and groups on national and international scales, it is also essential to discuss how remembrance in the public sphere can address the multitude of perspectives without creating hierarchical memory politics. Recent research scrutinises the effects of globalised Holocaust memory cultures, obligations of remembering and forgetting extreme cases of violence. In the German context, this concerns questions on the marginalisation of remembering genocides committed during colonial times. The Herero and Nama(qua) genocide committed by the German colonial army (1904-1908) in then German South West Africa (now Namibia) has been categorized as the first genocide of the 20th century. Only recently, over a hundred years after the massacre, the German government officially acknowledged the atrocities as genocide.
This year, an expert of the Liberation War Museum in Dhaka, Bangladesh, will attend the study trip. He will introduce us to the history of the genocide in Bangladesh during the liberation war (1971) and the past and present of remembrance. The genocide scholar Adam Jones declared that the fact that “the Bangladesh genocide remains strikingly little known […] reflects the peripheral position of East Pakistan/Bangladesh in the global order.”
The study trip takes the three genocides, the Holocaust, the Herero and Nama(qua) genocide and the Bangladesh genocide as case studies to discuss the linkages between power, knowledge production and memory politics. Central to the discussion will be the impact of gender in politics and practices of exclusion in terms of perpetrators, victims and beneficiaries, if such sharply delineated categories are at all applicable.
We will visit in particular:
• Topography of Terror Documentation Center, http://www.topographie.de/en
Between 1933 and 1945, the central institutions of Nazi persecution and terror – the Secret State Police Office with its own “house prison,” the leadership of the SS and, during the Second World War, the Reich Security Main Office – were located on the present-day grounds of the “Topography of Terror”.
• Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, http://www.stiftung-denkmal.de/en/home.html
This national memorial, located in the centre of Berlin, was opened in 2006. We will visit the Field of Stelae and the Information Centre.
• Ravensbrück Memorial Site, http://www.ravensbrueck.de/mgr/neu/
The largest women’s concentration camp in the German Reich was established in the village of Ravensbrück in 1939. Until 1945, more than 130 000 women from over 40 nations were held as prisoners and forced labourers – many thousands died. Parts of the exhibition are housed in the former SS-headquarters, the cell building and one of the houses for female guards. The visit will be a combination of a tour of the memorial site and a seminar. There will also be an opportunity for individual and group reflection.
• Uckermark Memorial Site, http://www.memorialmuseums.org/eng/denkmaeler/view/1480/Erinnerung-an-das-%C2%BBJugendschutzlager-Uckermark%C2%AB
The youth concentration camp for girls aged 16 to 21, was built in 1942 by prisoners of the Ravensbrück camp. For many years, the inmates were ‘forgotten victims of persecution’. The discussions about the Uckermark Memorial Site have been marked by ongoing controversies around remembrance and memorialisation.
• Berlin Postcolonial, http://www.berlin-postkolonial.de (in German)
Guided tour with a member of the non-governmental organisation focussing on the genocide in German South West Africa. The organisation addresses German and European colonialism and its aftermath until today. Like other organisations in German cities, their work includes initiatives for remembrance integrating the views of descendants of the colonized and the racialized people in Germany and Europe.
Students are expected to prepare the study trip through extensive reading and take notes during the study trips. The study trip will close with a workshop in Oldenburg to provide space for articulating different perspectives on the topics. Students are expected to contribute to a public presentation of the joined study trip following the workshop. Notes, visual and audio files should be taken during the study trip. Students are also invited to write (photo) essays, poems et al. that can be published in journals or on websites.
The EMMIR library provides books on the topic and the websites of the memorial sites give basic information. Further information is available at the http://www.ushmm.org/learn/holocaust-encyclopedia, http://www.exberliner.com/features/lifestyle/colonial-berlin-in-10-stops, http://www.liberationwarmuseumbd.org.
Obligatory Reading & Documentaries
• Baer, Alejandro and Natan Sznaider, 2017. Memory and Forgetting in the Post-Holocaust Era. The Ethics of Never Again. New York et al.: Routledge, pp. (have to be determined)
• Browning, Christopher R., 2010. The Nazi Empire. In: Donald Bloxham and A. Dirk Moses (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 407-425.
• Caplan, Jane (ed.), 2008. Nazi Germany. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
• Caplan, Jane, 2010. Gender and Concentration Camps. In: Jane Caplan and Nikolaus Wachsmann (eds.) Concentration Camps in Nazi Germany: The New Histories. London et al.: Routledge, pp. 82ff.
• Dateline Bangladesh. Documentary by Gita Mehta, Available at: https://vimeo.com/62306632
• Initiative für einen Gedenkort ehemaliges Jugend-KZ Uckermark e.V. 2009 International Antifascist Working Camp at the Site of the Former Youth Concentration Camp Uckermark. Reader. Available at: http://www.gedenkort-kz-uckermark.de/assets/downloads/baucamps/2009_Reader_baucamp.pdf
• Islam, Suhail and Syed Hassan, 2004. The Wretched of the Nations: The West's Role in Human Rights Violations in the Bangladesh War of Independence. In: Adam Jones (ed.) Genocide, War Crimes and the West History and Complicity. London and New York: Zed books, p. 201-2013.
• Joeden-Forgey, Elisa von, 2015. Gender and the Future of Genocide Studies and Prevention. In: Amy E Randall (ed.) Genocide and Gender in the Twentieth Century. A Comparative Survey. London et al.: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 299-320.
• Jones, Adam Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction. New York et al.: Routledge, pp. 227ff.
• Mar Castro Varela, María 2014. Uncanny entanglements: Holocaust, colonialism, and enlightenment. In: Nikita Dhawan (ed.) Decolonizing enlightenment. Opladen: B. Budrich, 2014, pp. 115-135.
• Namibia - Genocide and the Second Reich [Real Genocides]. David Adetayo Olusaga, BBC Document 2004, 58 Min. Available at: https://vimeo.com/104332787.
• Randall, Amy E., 2015. Introduction: Gender Matters. In: Amy E Randall (ed.) Genocide and Gender in the Twentieth Century. A Comparative Survey. London et al.: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 1-31.
• Rothberg, Michael, 2013. Remembering Back: Cultural Memory, Colonial Legacies, and Postcolonial Studies. In: Graham Huggan (ed.) The Oxford Handbook to Postcolonial Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 359-379.
• Waterberg to Waterberg - in the Footsteps of Samuel Maharero. Andrew Botelle, History Documentary, Namibia, 61min, 2014. Available at: https://vimeo.com/125135708
The study trip takes place from 22 to 26 October (all day).
Preparatory meetings for EMMIR students
1. Introduction: Programme of the study trip and organisation, Friday, 8 September 2017, 15:00-16:30, room A5 1-159
2. Discussion of texts (obligatory readings) and main questions, Wednesday, 11 October 2017, 16:00-19:00, room A5 1-159
Deadline for binding registration, the transfer of money: 13 September 2017
The costs for accommodation, education (e.g. guided tours) and travel (in and around Berlin) for non-EMMIR students are 190€. Students have to cover the travel costs Oldenburg-Berlin-Oldenburg individually.
The registration is subject to vacancy.
Please contact the EMMIR team before the deadline: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel. 0441 798 4839; EMMIR office, room: A5 1-137.
- ipb618 Transculturality and Cultural Mobility
- mir130 Theorizing Historical and Contemporary Migration Processes & Intercultural Relations