Based on a study of intersecting French archives (those of the Val de Grâce Hospital, the Service Historique de la Défense and the Archives Diplomatiques), and with the support of numerous printed sources, this article focuses on the handling of the bodies of French soldiers who died of cholera during the Crimean War (1854–56). As a continuation of studies done by historians Luc Capdevila and Danièle Voldman, the aim here is to consider how the diseased corpses of these soldiers reveal both the causes and circumstances of their deaths. Beyond the epidemiological context, these dead bodies shed light on the sanitary conditions and suffering resulting from years of military campaigns. To conclude, the article analyses the material traces left by these dead and the way that the Second Empire used them politically, giving the remains of leaders who died on the front lines of the cholera epidemic a triumphant return to the country and a state funeral.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal

The article will present the findings of ethnographic research into the Colombian and Mexican forensic systems, introducing the first citizen-led exhumation project made possible through the cooperation of scholars, forensic specialists and interested citizens in Mexico. The coupling evolution and mutual re-constitution of forensic science will be explored, including new forms of citizenship and nation building projects – all approached as lived experience – in two of Latin America‘s most complex contexts: organised crime and mass death.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Exhumations of Soviet-era victims in contemporary Russia

This paper discusses the search for, exhumation and identification of the remains of victims of mass political repression during the Stalinist Great Terror (1937-1938) in the USSR, concentrating on those who were subjected to the severest form of repression, that is, those who were shot following sentencing during judicial or extrajudicial processes.

Even if historians now agree on the number of victims of Stalin's Great Terror (1937-1938) during which nearly 800,000 people were executed by gunshot, we still know little about the ultimate course these victims took as the full trial procedures, executions and burials were marked with the seal of state secrets.

By restoring the history of exhumations undertaken from 1989 - quite exceptionally for Russia - in the Voronezh region 500 kilometres south of Moscow, and in focussing more specifically on the discovery of a site where 62 graves were discovered containing the remains of 2,889 individuals, this text lifts the veil on the Soviet logistics of the production of mass death. It sheds light on the human and material resources mobilized by the NKVD for these executions and illegal burials, utilising the repetitive tasks of dozens of individuals.

in Human remains and identification
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The tales destruction tells

feature of this century.2 Forms of mass violence certainly differed, and continue to differ, widely from one country to another, from one system to another, from one continent to another; nevertheless, this ‘age of extremes’, in the words of historian Eric Hobsbawm,3 has seen an outburst of violence that has produced, as its logical consequence, mass death, ideological mass death, and therefore millions of corpses. It may seem a truism, since this aspect of human destiny is shared universally, that every human body ends marked by rigor mortis before the decomposition of

in Destruction and human remains
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Why exhume? Why identify?

situations of mass death, of non-individualized death, when it is a matter of murder on a grand scale. Exhumations, as demonstrations of a willingness to learn, itself also a desire to see and understand, seem to represent, in this respect, one of many societal responses to the mystery of mass violent deaths. 12   Élisabeth Anstett and Jean-Marc Dreyfus Notes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Translation from the authors’ French by Cadenza Academic Translations. Recipient of a starting grant from the European Research Council, no. 283–617. See the website

in Human remains and identification
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Portraying the exhumation and reburial of Polish Jewish Holocaust victims in the pages of yizkor books

Committee (JDC), which also intervened with American commanders for permission to exhume and transfer Jewish corpses, and with the assistance of American rabbis serving in the capacity of military chaplains. In contrast, the returnees to small towns in Poland were essentially one-man operations. See G. N. Finder, ‘Yizkor! Commemoration of the dead by Jewish displaced persons in postwar Germany’, in A. Confino, P. Betts & D. Schumann (eds), Between Mass Death and Individual Loss: The Place of the Dead in Twentieth-Century Germany (New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2008

in Human remains and identification

who manage to hide (or being unconscious are presumed dead) among the corpses, all in the presence of the perpetrators and those physically producing the site (digging the grave, piling the corpses and so forth) • bounded sites in which mass death occurs over more extended durations such as: oo the detainment/concentration/labour camp, with its high mortality rate due to starvation, exposure, epidemics, where HRMV.indb 27 01/09/2014 17:28:33 28  Yehonatan Alsheh corpses function as a biohazard, greatly exasperating the spread of epidemics oo the industrialized

in Human remains and mass violence

Peninsular’, hides more than it reveals,60 since – more frequently still than in the German extermination camps – mass murder in the Ustaša camps was characterized by a momentum that was hard to rein in, by loss of control and mass deaths that were often, but not always, intended. Thus it is hardly astonishing that, when it came to the disposal of corpses, the security guards ultimately lost control and that attempts to dispose of corpses in the camp were erratic. When the armed uprisings against the Ustaša regime began in the summer of 1941, the nature of the violence

in Human remains and mass violence
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The French search mission for the corpses of deportees in Germany, 1946–58

history of mourning in the context of the mass deaths of soldiers.4 Other studies have discussed the presence of corpses in towns on the front line – towns with infirmaries where the wounded had become a part of the social fabric and often the dead as well.5 In such a vigorous historiography of the European war (the inter­ national dimen­sion of the First World War is often neglected in this context), bodies are seen as wounded, broken and reconstructed. HRMV.indb 129 01/09/2014 17:28:40 130  Jean-Marc Dreyfus The study of French soldiers with facial injuries was

in Human remains and mass violence
The afterlives of human remains at the Bełzec extermination camp

’ component, had a dual effect: rendering the mass graves porous, and the Bełzec dead ‘unburiable’.52 The buriable dead It is unquestionable that the rites of separation for the treatment of symbolically and politically charged human remains were central in twentieth-​century Poland. Even in the face of the consequences of mass death brought about by the Second World War, whose numerous mass graves, burial pits and countless provisionally bu­ried corpses spread all over the war-​torn country caused practical challenges, the cultural politics of burial did not undergo any

in Human remains in society