Braving the Ottoman‘s ban on capturing any images of the persecuted Armenians, witnesses dodged censorship and photographed pictures that would later be branded as proofat the Paris Peace Conference in 1919–20. Despite the challenge of these images to representations of the Armenian genocide, they were soon forgotten after the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne erased the Armenian Question, while time took care of destroying the corpses abandoned in the desert. This article will examine the image-disappearance dialectic through distinct temporalities of remembrance,and commemoration, each of which mobilises its own specific, iconographical semantics. In response to contemporary challenges, the repertoire of images has not remained sealed; over the last decade it has been reopened through depictions of bare landscapes and stretches of desert and bones,that suddenly pierce through the earth. The article will show how these images implicitly speak of the disappearance and seek meaning through emptiness.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal

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
Open Access (free)
Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order

. 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 time when Hitler used US race laws as a model for the Third Reich

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Curation and exhibition in the aftermath of genocide and mass-violence

This book addresses the practices, treatment and commemoration of victims’ remains in post- genocide and mass violence contexts. Whether reburied, concealed, stored, abandoned or publically displayed, human remains raise a vast number of questions regarding their legal, ethical and social uses.

Human Remains in Society will raise these issues by examining when, how and why bodies are hidden or exhibited. Using case studies from multiple continents, each chapter will interrogate their effect on human remains, either desired or unintended, on various political, cultural or religious practices. How, for instance, do issues of confiscation, concealment or the destruction of bodies and body parts in mass crime impact on transitional processes, commemoration or judicial procedures?

Disposal and concealment in genocide and mass violence

Destruction and human remains investigates a crucial question frequently neglected from academic debate in the fields of mass violence and Genocide Studies: what is done to the bodies of the victims after they are killed? Indeed, in the context of mass violence and genocide, death does not constitute the end of the executors' work. Following the abuses carried out by the latter, their victims' remains are treated and manipulated in very particular ways, amounting in some cases to social engineering. The book explores this phase of destruction, whether by disposal, concealment or complete annihilation of the body, across a range of extreme situations to display the intentions and socio-political framework of governments, perpetrators and bystanders. The book will be split into three sections; 1) Who were the perpetrators and why were they chosen? It will be explored whether a division of labour created social hierarchies or criminal careers, or whether in some cases this division existed at all. 2) How did the perpetrators kill and dispose of the bodies? What techniques and technologies were employed, and how does this differ between contrasting and evolving circumstances? 3) Why did the perpetrators implement such methods and what does this say about their motivations and ideologies? The book will focus in particular on the twentieth century, displaying innovative and interdisciplinary approaches and dealing with case studies from different geographical areas across the globe. The focus will be placed on a re-evaluation of the motivations, the ideological frameworks and the technical processes displayed in the destruction of bodies.

Open Access (free)
The daily work of Erich Muhsfeldt, chief of the crematorium at Majdanek concentration and extermination camp, 1942–44

2 A specialist: the daily work of Erich Muhsfeldt, chief of the crematorium at Majdanek concentration and extermination camp, 1942–44 1 Elissa Mailänder In the context of the invasion of the Soviet Union, due to begin on 22 June 1941, Heinrich Himmler, visiting Lublin on 20 June that year, ordered a camp to be built in this Polish city situated in the south-east of occupied Poland, the so-called Generalgouvernement. Officially run as the ‘Lublin Waffen-SS prisoner of war camp’, the camp – which the prisoners named after the Lublin suburb of Majdan Tatarski

in Destruction and human remains
The afterlives of human remains at the Bełzec extermination camp

38 2 (Re)politicising the dead in post-​Holocaust Poland: the afterlives of human remains at the Bełzec extermination camp1 Zuzanna Dziuban At the official dedication of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe on 10 May 2005 in Berlin, Lea Rosh, a German journalist who launched and led the long-​lasting campaign for the erection of this contentious monument,2 herself became a source of extreme controversy. During her impassioned speech, held in front of a large and engaged audience including Holocaust survivors, their relatives and Jewish religious

in Human remains in society
Rumours of bones and the remembrance of an exterminated people in Newfoundland - the emotive immateriality of human remains

220 9 A Beothuk skeleton (not) in a glass case: rumours of bones and the remembrance of an exterminated people in Newfoundland –​the emotive immateriality of human remains John Harries This chapter is about human remains and how human remains inhabit the public sphere after their exhumation. It is also, however, about a curious form of inhabitation. Usually, when we think of things being in the public sphere, we think of them as being somehow present. In the case of bones we think of them being actually, materially, physically, there. Perhaps they are on

in Human remains in society
The victims' struggle for recognition and recurring genocide memories in Namibia

197 8 The return of Herero and Nama bones from Germany: the victims’ struggle for recognition and recurring genocide memories in Namibia Vilho Amukwaya Shigwedha Introduction In April 1904, General Adrian Dietrich Lothar von Trotha delivered his infamous order to exterminate the Herero and Nama people.1 The ‘Vernichtungsbefehl’, or extermination order, signifies Imperial Germany’s military response to the Herero and Nama popular revolts against Germany’s confiscation and domination of indigenous land. Close to 100,000 Herero and 20,000 Nama, mainly women and

in Human remains in society
Mass violence, genocide, and the ‘forensic turn’

Human remains and identification presents a pioneering investigation into the practices and methodologies used in the search for and exhumation of dead bodies resulting from mass violence. Previously absent from forensic debate, social scientists and historians here confront historical and contemporary exhumations with the application of social context to create an innovative and interdisciplinary dialogue, enlightening the political, social and legal aspects of mass crime and its aftermaths. Through a ground-breaking selection of international case studies, Human remains and identification argues that the emergence of new technologies to facilitate the identification of dead bodies has led to a “forensic turn”, normalising exhumations as a method of dealing with human remains en masse. However, are these exhumations always made for legitimate reasons? Multidisciplinary in scope, the book will appeal to readers interested in understanding this crucial phase of mass violence’s aftermath, including researchers in history, anthropology, sociology, forensic science, law, politics and modern warfare.