3.90.142 FÄLLT AUS Genocide and Gender (Study Trip)


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Study Trip: 24 to 27 October 2016


Since the second half of the 20th century, the term ‘genocide’, coined by Raphael Lemkin in the 1940s, has been become central in international discourses and conventions as well as in research about 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 the 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 – for Germans as well as for 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 visit of selected sites of memory will provide a multitude of perspectives on these topics. Central to the discussion will be the impact of gender in politics and practices of exclusion in terms of both, perpetrators and victims.

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 in multicultural societies further legacies of traumatic experiences play a crucial role for individuals and groups, it is also essential to discuss how remembrance in the public sphere can address the multitude of perspectives without creating hierarchical memory politics based on collective identity constructions.

We will visit:

1. House of the Wannsee Conference (
In this villa, representatives of the SS, the Nazi party and the state met in 1942 to discuss their cooperation in the deportation and murder of the European Jews. We will visit the exhibition and have a seminar on the ‘Final Solution’.

2. Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (
The national memorial, located in the centre of Berlin, was opened in 2006. We will visit the Field of Stelae and the Information Centre.

3. Ravensbrück Memorial Site (
The largest women’s concentration camp in the German Reich was established in the village 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.

4. Uckermark Memorial Site (
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.

5. Jewish Museum Berlin (
The building complex of the museum, opened in 2001, comprises a historical building and three buildings designed by the architect Daniel Libeskind. The permanent exhibition addresses two millennia of German Jewish history and culture. The guided tour through the museum will focus on the reactions of Jewish institutions and individuals on persecution and exclusion during National Socialism.

Students are expected to prepare the study trip independently through extensive reading. The EMMIR library provides books on the topic and the websites of the memorial sites give basic information. Further information is available at the The study trip is linked to the introduction in “Genocide and Forced Migration” of the teaching module “Theorizing Historical and Contemporary Migration Processes & Intercultural Relations.”


Optional readings prior to the course consist of autobiographies of survivors and their offspring such as Ruth Klüger’s ‘Still Alive: A Holocaust Girlhood Remembered’, and Fethiye Çetin’s ‘My Grandmother. A Memoir’. Theories of Gender and Genocide, Critical ‘Race’ and feminist approaches to Genocide Studies will be covered in a small reading package students are encouraged to work with during the preparatory meeting and alongside their individual reflections both during and after the excursion. Form and content of the Reflection Paper can vary from photographs, poems, diary, to essays etc.

Obligatory Readings
• Browning, Christopher R. 2010 “The Nazi Empire” in Donald Bloxham and A. Dirk Moses The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 407-425.
• Caplan, Jane 2010 “Gender and Concentration Camps” in Jane Caplan and Nikolaus Wachsmann: Concentration Camps in Nazi Germany: The New Histories. London et al.: Routledge: 82ff.
• 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 from
• Joeden-Forgey, Elisa von 2010 “Gender and Genocide” in Donald Bloxham and A. Dirk Moses The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 407-425.
• Meyer, Angelika 2014 “Shedding Light on the Invisible: Towards a Gender-Sensitive Education at Memorial Sites” in Karel Fracapane and Matthias Hass (eds.) Holocaust Education in a Global Context. Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization: 93-101.
• Rothberg, Michael 2009 Multidirectional Memory. Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonisation. Standford: Stanford University Press: 1-29 (Introduction).



  • gen260 Freies Modul zur fachlichen Vertiefung
  • ipb618 Transculturality and Cultural Mobility
  • kul250 Exemplarische Analyse Materieller Kultur und ihrer Vermittlung
  • mir130 Theorizing Historical and Contemporary Migration Processes & Intercultural Relations
  • mkt440 Freies Modul zur individuellen Profilbildung


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