Open Access (free)
Kitty S. Millet

This article has two aims: to examine the effects of victim proximity to crematoria ashes and ash pits both consciously and unconsciously in a subset of Holocaust survivors, those who were incarcerated at the dedicated death camps of Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, as well as Auschwitz-Birkenau; and to contrast these effects, the subject positions they produce, with their suppression as the basis both for a strategy of survival during incarceration and for a reimagined identity after the war. Within a cohort of four survivors from Rudolf Reder (Belzec), Esther Raab (Sobibor), Jacob Wiernik (Treblinka) and Shlomo Venezia (Auschwitz), I trace the ways in which discrete memories and senses became constitutive in the formation of the subject prior to and after escape – the experience of liberation – so that essentially two kinds of subjects became visible, the subject in liberation and the subject of ashes. In conjunction with these two kinds of subjects, I introduce the compensatory notion of a third path suggested both by H. G. Adler and Anna Orenstein, also Holocaust survivors, that holds both positions together in one space, the space of literature, preventing the two positions from being stranded in dialectical opposition to each other.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
The afterlives of human remains at the Bełzec extermination camp
Zuzanna Dziuban

in the work of Polish artist and scholar Elzbieta Janicka, the photographic series The Odd Place (2003–​04), the problem of the persistent endurance of the traces of the extermination at the sites at which it took place does not, after all, have a purely symbolic character. In six large-​ format photographs taken at the former Nazi death camps in Poland (Auschwitz-​Birkenau, Majdanek, Treblinka, Sobibór, Chełmno and Bełzec), Janicka captured the air drifting above their grounds, penetrated for years by the ashes resurfacing from the porous graves. The images

in Human remains in society
Forensic and archaeological approaches to locating the remains of Holocaust victims
Caroline Sturdy Colls

163 7 ‘Earth conceal not my blood’: forensic and archaeological approaches to locating the remains of Holocaust victims Caroline Sturdy Colls Introduction ‘Earth conceal not my blood’. It is this statement with which every visitor to Sobibór in Poland was confronted as they entered the memorial site marking the former Nazi extermination camp that existed there from April 1942 to October 1943.1 This echoed the biblical statement in the Book of Job, in which Job pleads ‘O earth, cover not thou my blood, and let my cry have no resting place’.2 Although this line

in Human remains in society
Open Access (free)
Machines of mass incineration in fact, fiction, and forensics
Robert Jan van Pelt

deaths through disease and starvation in the ghettos, they at least welcomed the high mortality. We know that they carefully prepared the massacres by means of shootings. And it took some planning to design and construct the gas chambers in Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, and the original gas chambers, those in Auschwitz (the improvised gas chamber of Block 11 and crematorium 1) and Auschwitz-Birkenau (bunkers 1 and 2, which were originally peasant cottages). But real technical ingenuity and advanced engineering skills became important when the SS commissioned the firm of

in Destruction and human remains
Open Access (free)
Élisabeth Anstett and Jean-Marc Dreyfus

first few years of the post-​war period, the people living next to the actual sites of the extermination camps in Poland dug up and sifted through the soil from Treblinka, Sobibór and Bełzec, creating a local gold-​panning rush that constituted a final profanation. This is shown in the excellent account given by 10 10   Human remains in society Zuzanna Dziuban in her chapter on the spatiality of the death sites in Poland. Yet while these same sites have yielded corpses to be identified and returned to their families, they are also destinations for tour operators

in Human remains in society