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.
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.
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.
Debates Surrounding Ebola Vaccine Trials in Eastern Democratic Republic of
Joseph Grace Kasereka
complex. Ethnographic research in the region illustrates how the widely
reported flu-like side-effects produced fear, while rumours spread that the vaccine
was a government scheme to exterminate the population, or a business opportunity for
pharmaceutical companies ( Nyenyezi Bisoka
et al. , 2021 ; MSF, 2019a , 2019b ). At the
same time, people also described wanting to be vaccinated and finding themselves
ineligible. 1 A senior MSF
Rwanda. Then, faced with RPF success on the battlefield and at the negotiating table, these few powerholders transformed the strategy of ethnic division into genocide. They believed that the extermination campaign would restore the solidarity of the Hutu under their leadership and help them win the war, or at least improve their chances of negotiating a favorable peace. They seized control of the state and used its machinery and its authority to carry out the slaughter. ( Des Forges, 1999 : 1–2)
In this succinct passage, Des Forges wants to make clear that the
suffering of the victims, affirmed that ‘it cannot be said at this point that there is a pattern, a systematic policy of extermination’. Even his defence minister, Luis Carlos Villegas, said that ‘the vast majority of the murders of social leaders are the result of an isolated issue, of boundary disputes, of fights for illicit rents’ ( El Espectador , 2017 ).
A recent publication by Ricardo Aparicio shows the link between economic projects and the emergence of a new terminology that invokes suffering and invites reconciliation. This relationship is contradictory; while
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
The daily work of Erich Muhsfeldt, chief of the crematorium at Majdanek concentration and extermination camp, 1942–44
A specialist: the daily work of Erich
Muhsfeldt, chief of the crematorium
at Majdanek concentration and
extermination camp, 1942–44 1
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
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.