Search results

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
Louise Zamparutti

This essay analyses the literature on the foibe to illustrate a political use of human remains. The foibe are the deep karstic pits in Istria and around Trieste where Yugoslavian Communist troops disposed of Italians they executed en masse during World War II. By comparing contemporary literature on the foibe to a selection of archival reports of foibe exhumation processes it will be argued that the foibe literature popular in Italy today serves a political rather than informational purpose. Counterpublic theory will be applied to examine how the recent increase in popular foibe literature brought the identity of the esuli, one of Italy‘s subaltern counterpublics, to the national stage. The paper argues that by employing the narrative structure of the Holocaust, contemporary literature on the foibe attempts to recast Italy as a counterpublic in the wider European public sphere, presenting Italy as an unrecognised victim in World War II.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
Burying the victims of Europe’s border in a Tunisian coastal town
Valentina Zagaria

The Mediterranean Sea has recently become the deadliest of borders for illegalised travellers. The victims of the European Union’s liquid border are also found near North African shores. The question of how and where to bury these unknown persons has recently come to the fore in Zarzis, a coastal town in south-east Tunisia. Everyone involved in these burials – the coastguards, doctors, Red Crescent volunteers, municipality employees – agree that what they are doing is ‘wrong’. It is neither dignified nor respectful to the dead, as the land used as a cemetery is an old waste dump, and customary attitudes towards the dead are difficult to realise. This article will first trace how this situation developed, despite the psychological discomfort of all those affected. It will then explore how the work of care and dignity emerges within this institutional chain, and what this may tell us about what constitutes the concept of the human.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Temporality and the crossing of borders in Europe

Migrating borders and moving times explores how crossing borders entails shifting time as well as changing geographical location. Space has long dominated the field of border studies, a prominence which the recent ‘spatial turn’ in social science has reinforced. This book challenges the classic analytical pre-eminence of ‘space’ by focusing on how ‘border time’ is shaped by, shapes and constitutes the borders themselves.

Using original field data from Israel, northern Europe and Europe's south-eastern borders (Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro, Sarajevo, Lesbos), our contributors explore ‘everyday forms of border temporality’ – the ways in which people through their temporal practices manage, shape, represent and constitute the borders across which they move or at which they are made to halt. In these accounts, which are based on fine-tuned ethnographic research sensitive to historical depth and wider political-economic context and transformation, ‘moving’ is understood not only as mobility but as affect, where borders become not just something to be ‘crossed’ but something that is emotionally experienced and ‘felt’.

Open Access (free)
Mass violence, corpses, and the Nazi imagination of the East
Michael McConnell

precise and efficient, embodying their selfperceived national character. As a Kulturvolk, or ‘cultured people’, Germans were obliged to kill in certain ways, which set them apart from their uncivilized, brutal enemies in the East. Through an examination of the anti-partisan war in General­ kommissariat Weissruthenia, this chapter assesses how Germans’ cultural stereotypes of Eastern Europeans drove the extreme forms of violence visited on the region. As historian Alon Confino has recently argued, scholars should begin to pay closer attention to the ways in which

in Destruction and human remains
Open Access (free)
Deaths at sea and unidentified bodies in Lesbos
Iosif Kovras and Simon Robins

8 Missing migrants: deaths at sea and unidentified bodies in Lesbos Iosif Kovras and Simon Robins1 Migrant deaths at sea In March 2013, a body was found on the shores of Eressos, the village where Sappho the poetess was born, in the west of the island of Lesbos (Dimopoulou 2013). The young woman was the daughter of a Syrian family who had fled the Syrian conflict and sought asylum in the European Union (EU) by crossing the Aegean from Turkey. The girl’s mother and sister were also found dead on the same day on the shores of neighbouring villages. The two girls

in Migrating borders and moving times
Time and space in family migrant networks between Kosovo and western Europe
Carolin Leutloff-Grandits

6 New pasts, presents and futures: time and space in family migrant networks between Kosovo and western Europe Carolin Leutloff-Grandits For many families in Kosovo, migration is an integral part of life. This is true even if they do not themselves migrate but, rather, seem ‘stuck’ in a village such as the one in south Kosovo where I conducted fieldwork between 2011 and 2013.1 In fact, in this village, and throughout almost all of Kosovo, there is what one might term a ‘culture’ of migration. Every person has close family members who are living or have lived

in Migrating borders and moving times
John Borneman

12 Abandonment and victory in relations with dead bodies John Borneman Katherine Verdery was the first to make some systematic observations about the accelerated movement of dead bodies in EastCentral Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Empire. She noted that, in this period of political transformation, the corpses of political leaders and cultural heroes accrued certain powers leading to a struggle over appropriating those powers, and to the exhumation and displacement of their bodies (Verdery 1999). Here I wish to consider the modes of appropriation

in Governing the dead
Open Access (free)
Crossing borders, changing times
Madeleine Hurd, Hastings Donnan and Carolin Leutloff-Grandits

and enduring traces of border movement (Green 2012: 585). In Chapter 1, Kramsch explores a tidemark-like layering of time and space along the 4 Migrating borders and moving times border between Germany and the Netherlands. At one time heavily patrolled, the Dutch/German border has been reduced to near-insignificance by recent European Union (EU) decisions; but borderland signifiers encourage observers to remember and challenge both past and present meanings. The border can, therefore, be seen as a montage which gives time a spatial representation for those who

in Migrating borders and moving times
Olivier Thomas Kramsch

juxtaposition of the ruins of border infrastructure with the travel agency’s ‘beach’, at the forward edge of two major European states, invites the bordercrosser to dream … References to ‘walking’, ‘drifting’ and ‘dreaming’ are of course intimately associated with the practices of early twentieth-century artistic movements such as Dadaism and Surrealism, whose advocates attempted to counter the rationalising and instrumentalising impulses of modern capitalism with an artistic sensibility capable of foregrounding the still potent realms of memory, the unconscious and the

in Migrating borders and moving times