Jean-Marc Dreyfus

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
Elyse Semerdjian

This article discusses how Armenians have collected, displayed and exchanged the bones of their murdered ancestors in formal and informal ceremonies of remembrance in Dayr al-Zur, Syria – the final destination for hundreds of thousands of Armenians during the deportations of 1915. These pilgrimages – replete with overlapping secular and nationalist motifs – are a modern variant of historical pilgrimage practices; yet these bones are more than relics. Bone rituals, displays and vernacular memorials are enacted in spaces of memory that lie outside of official state memorials, making unmarked sites of atrocity more legible. Vernacular memorial practices are of particular interest as we consider new archives for the history of the Armenian Genocide. The rehabilitation of this historical site into public consciousness is particularly urgent, since the Armenian Genocide Memorial Museum and Martyr’s Church at the centre of the pilgrimage site were both destroyed by ISIS (Islamic State in Syria) in 2014.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
The Algerian war and the ‘emancipation’ of Muslim women, 1954–62
Author: Neil Macmaster

In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.

Open Access (free)
Borders, ticking clocks and timelessness among temporary labour migrants in Israel
Robin A. Harper and Hani Zubida

issues permits to specific recruitment agencies for a given number of migrants per year to work in agriculture, construction, hospitality, ethnic cookery/catering, nursing/caregiving and welding. In all but caregiving, there are fixed annual quotas (Harper and Zubida 2010). Israeli policy is designed for voluntary, rotating, temporary contract migrants. When contracts expire or are cancelled or workers fall out of status, there are few ways to adjust one’s status. So Israel uses deportation as the main mechanism for compulsory repatriation. Many workers actually choose

in Migrating borders and moving times
Open Access (free)
Janet Wolff

, together with 1,125 from the neighbouring Saar and Palatinate regions, were expelled from Germany and sent into Vichy France. The Jews from Baden were sent to Gurs; the Saar and Palatinate Jews to the Rivesaltes camp, in the Pyrénées-Orientales. This deportation – the only one by the Nazi regime to the west, not the east – was the so-called WagnerBürckel-Aktion, after the two zealous Gauleiters (Nazi Party regional leaders) who engineered it. Robert Wagner was Gauleiter for Baden (and then also Alsace, after that region was annexed to the Third Reich in June 1940). Josef

in Austerity baby
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Or how to make the Armenian corpses disappear
Raymond H. Kévorkian

first priority for the Young Turks was to conceal all traces of their crimes as quickly as possible. The first phase of the genocide The first phase of the genocide, from April to September 1915, consisted of the forced deportation (the ‘death marches’) of the DHR.indb 89 5/15/2014 12:51:10 PM 90  Raymond H. Kévorkian Armenian and Syrian populations from the Ottoman Empire, in particular from six eastern provinces, where the majority had their historic roots. These are wild, mountainous regions, at average altitudes of 2,000 metres; the enclosed valleys

in Destruction and human remains
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The French search mission for the corpses of deportees in Germany, 1946–58
Jean-Marc Dreyfus

thousands of corpses and skeletons in order to try to identify French deportees (or rather, deportees from France). Other countries, such as Belgium, Italy and Denmark, organized similar search missions.10 It is worth noting, however, that, to our knowledge, no mention has been made of the French mission in any of the many books or papers on the subject of the memory of the Holocaust or the consequences of deportation from France. This historiographic silence is interesting in itself, and perhaps implies a certain disembodiment in the accounts of the concentration camps

in Human remains and mass violence
Robert Boyce

deported to Auschwitz. He was thus charged not with one crime but with hundreds of crimes committed between June 1942 and May 1944. The acte d’accusation, a document of over a hundred pages, required two days of court time to read out, and between 8 October 1997 when the trial began and 2 April 1998 when the verdict was announced, 133 witnesses, dozens of depositions, and fifty thousand pages of documents were produced in court. This made it the longest and probably also the most expensive trial in French history.2 It was also one of the most widely publicised. Every

in Domestic and international trials, 1700–2000
Open Access (free)
Janet Wolff

great-uncle Julius were about to visit them in the Rivesaltes camp in September 1942, but learned that they had just been deported. I already knew that Leo and Meta were deported from Drancy camp to Auschwitz on 16 September 1942 – from the transport list available online through the Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris, and from the Stolpersteine in Busenberg. I assumed both were murdered immediately on arrival. Claude’s mother Meta Austerity baby [ 241 ] Claude Levy (film stills) Postscript [ 242 ] Memorial boards, Jewish cemetery in Busenberg, Germany Jewish

in Austerity baby
Open Access (free)
Portraying the exhumation and reburial of Polish Jewish Holocaust victims in the pages of yizkor books
Gabriel N. Finder

War. The German army entered Żelechów on 14 September 1939, and on the following day the Nazis set fire to the synagogue. During 1940–41 more than 2,000 Jews, mostly from surrounding smaller towns and villages, were resettled in Żelechów. In the fall of 1940 an open ghetto was established there. On 30 September 1942, the ghetto was liquidated and all its inhabitants were deported to Treblinka and gassed there. Only a few hundred Jews managed to flee prior to the liquidation of the ghetto. No Jewish community was reconstituted in Żelechów after the war. Organizations

in Human remains and identification