Antonius C. G. M. Robben

Thousands of people died in Rotterdam during the Second World War in more than 300 German and Allied bombardments. Civil defence measures had been taken before the German invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940 and these efforts were intensified during the country’s occupation as Allied bombers attacked Rotterdam’s port, factories, dry docks and oil terminals. Residential neighbourhoods were also hit through imprecise targeting and by misfired flak grenades. Inadequate air raid shelters and people’s reluctance to enter them caused many casualties. The condition of the corpses and their post-mortem treatment was thus co-constituted by the relationship between the victims and their material circumstances. This article concludes that an understanding of the treatment of the dead after war, genocide and mass violence must pay systematic attention to the materiality of death because the condition, collection and handling of human remains is affected by the material means that impacted on the victims.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
Writing home in recent Irish memoirs and autobiographies (John McGahern’s Memoir, Hugo Hamilton’s The Speckled People, Seamus Deane’s Reading in the Dark and John Walsh’s The Falling Angels)
Stephen Regan

that subtly undermine it produces a highly distinctive and striking prose style. A clean, spare diction and simple, uncluttered syntax reminiscent of journal narratives suddenly opens into a richly embellished and heavily adjectival prose. The opening of the episode, dated ‘November 1947’, is characteristic: It was a fierce winter, that year. The snow covered the air-raid shelters. At night, from the stair window, the field was a white paradise of loneliness, and a starlit wind made the glass shake like loose, black water and the ice snore on the sill, while we slept

in Irish literature since 1990
Kerry Longhurst

West German strategic culture 29 The rising imperatives of rearmament: ‘the requirements’ . . . like undertakers performing an amputation on a corpse. For five years we have been blowing up bunkers, cutting holes in air raid shelters, dismantling factories, silting harbours, banning the production of toy soldiers and pop-guns and re-orienting the German mind. Having stripped Germany of every possibility of defense, the irony of the sudden appeal to the Germans to get in there and defend what we believe in is obvious. It is like mentioning a rope in the home of

in Germany and the use of force
A queer history
Peter Buchanan

to an understandable scholarly failing: the desire to fix a text's meaning. Although the little plaster bulldog is a marginal figure, exiled to the fireplace, it still never fails to draw the eye and attract contradictory comment. Moreover, Beowulf's arrival coincides with the puncturing of the thick temporality of the British tearoom, past, present, and future all colliding in a rupture that was all too common in the Blitz. As the characters retreat to a nearby air-raid shelter, Selina returning to drag Rashleigh from his garret with moments to

in Dating Beowulf
Robert Mackay

shelters, tired, cramped, and aching from six hours sitting on hard benches.’62 CHAP2.p65 70 16/09/02, 09:24 WAR EXPERIENCED: 1939–41 71 But total breakdown rarely occurred. Most people, miraculously, did adjust to the disturbance – apparently getting better at it with practice. Air raid shelters, whether communal shelters, street shelters or domestic shelters all suffered from the same basic defect: they were designed to provide short-term cover in daytime. Most of the strains associated with shelters arose from the fact that the pattern of air raids required them

in Half the battle
Open Access (free)
Nicholas Atkin

the men lived under glass with no nearby air-raid shelters,61 became so obvious that 380 of the officers were moved to the Bedford, Imperial and Royal Hotels in Bloomsbury.62 Subsequently, 240 of the men, plus 10 officers, were transferred north to the Wavertree Blind School and placed in the care of Ministry of Health Officials and Liverpool Corporation. Their numbers, however, were dwarfed by the final contingent of servicemen: the large quantities of sailors from the French navy, 341 officers and 6,206 sailors of other ranks.63 These men fell under the aegis of

in The forgotten French