This paper traces the massacres of Jews and Soviet prisoners of war in November 1941 in the city of Bobruisk, Eastern Belarus. Sparked by a current memorial at one of the killing sites, the author examines the historic events of the killings themselves and presents a micro level analysis of the various techniques for murdering and disposing of such large numbers of victims. A contrast will be shown between the types of actions applied to the victims by the German army, SS, police personnel and other local collaborators, reflecting an imposed racial hierarchisation even after their death.
stumbled into genocide, as the strategy of asserting power by exterminating the Tutsi developed even as it was being implemented. The discussion carries echoes of the debate between intentionalists and structuralists in Holocaust studies, a disagreement over whether the genocide of Jews was the direct result of a master plan or grew out of the logic and structures of the Nazi state ( Mason, 1981 : 21–40; Browning, 2004 ). I discussed this issue with Des Forges shortly before her death, and she was inclined to agree with Guichaoua’s perspective, though in practice it
Threatens Lives , 12 July , HRW : Brussels , www.hrw.org/news/2017/07/12/eu-draft-code-sea-rescues-threatens-lives (accessed 7 October 2020 ). Krekó , P. ( 2011 ), ‘ Jobbik Needs Jews to Run the World ’, Political Capital Institute : Budapest , 15
and the Congo, or the British and Mau Mau, or the French in Algeria. As the Americans joined the fray post World War II (after Nazi Germany’s attempt to exterminate the Jews, and after the US dropped two atomic bombs on civilians without warning), we can fast-forward to the use of nerve agents in Vietnam, the mass bombing of civilians in Cambodia, the giving of a green light to the government in East Pakistan to commit genocide in what is now Bangladesh or the political support the US gave to Pinochet and the Khmer Rouge. We can go back to the
that manner. Yet Biafra also helped establishing the Holocaust as a genocide, singled out from Nazi crimes more generally: genocidal in nature, targeting minority groups and primarily the Jews. These references are thus interesting and insightful not only to get a better grasp of the Nigerian civil war, but they can also help us better understand the mechanics of Holocaust memory [ Heerten, 2017 , 280–4; Smith, 2014 ; Heerten and Moses, 2014 ]. Moreover
During the Second World War and its aftermath, the legend was spread that the Germans turned the bodies of Holocaust victims into soap stamped with the initials RIF, falsely interpreted as made from pure Jewish fat. In the years following liberation, RIF soap was solemnly buried in cemeteries all over the world and came to symbolise the six million killed in the Shoah, publicly showing the determination of Jewry to never forget the victims. This article will examine the funerals that started in Bulgaria and then attracted several thousand mourners in Brazil and Romania, attended by prominent public personalities and receiving widespread media coverage at home and abroad. In 1990 Yad Vashem laid the Jewish soap legend to rest, and today tombstones over soap graves are falling into decay with new ones avoiding the word soap. RIF soap, however, is alive in the virtual world of the Internet and remains fiercely disputed between believers and deniers.
This article seeks to show that the bodies of Jewish people who died in the Drancy internment camp between 1941 and 1944 were handled on French soil in a doubly normalised manner: first by the police and judicial system, and then in relation to funeral arrangements. My findings thus contradict two preconceived ideas that have become firmly established in collective memory: first, the belief that the number who died in the Drancy camp is difficult to establish; and second, the belief that the remains of internees who died in the camp were subjected to rapid and anonymous burial in a large mass grave in Drancy municipal cemetery.
The Kulmhof extermination camp in Chełmno nad Nerem was the first camp set up by the Nazis to exterminate Jews during the Second World War. The history of Kulmhof has long been an area of interest for academics, but despite thorough research it remains one of the least-known places of its kind among the public. Studies of the role of archaeology in acquiring knowledge about the functioning of the camp have been particularly compelling. The excavations carried out intermittently over a thirty-year period (1986–2016), which constitute the subject of this article, have played a key role in the rise in public interest in the history of the camp.
The Ponar-Paneriai base, the main extermination site of Vilna-Vilnius, began its existence as a Red Army fuel depot in 1940. After Nazi occupation of the city in 1941 the Einsatzgruppen and mostly Lithuanian members of the Ypatingasis būrys used the pits dug for the fuel tanks for the murder of the Jews of Vilna and large numbers of Polish residents. During its operation, Ponar was cordoned off, but changes to the topography of the site since the Second World War have made a full understanding of the site difficult. This article uses contemporary plans and aerial photographs to reconstruct the layout of the site, in order to better understand the process of extermination, the size of the Ponar base and how the site was gradually reduced in size after 1944.
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.