The Museum Representation of National Socialist Perpetrators in Germany and Austria

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Melville Room (University of Glasgow)
Sarah Kleinmann , Institute of Saxon History and Cultural Anthropology, Dresden
In general, exhibitions enjoy a high level of credibility (Thiemeyer 2010: 17) and are an important part of cultural memory (Pieper 2010: 195). They also contribute to a specific cultural memory (Beier de Haan 2005: 147). Hence, it is of great relevance, in which ways the National Socialist crimes and perpetrators are shown nowadays.

In my dissertation, due in March 2015, I analyzed seven permanent exhibitions both in Austria and Germany regarding the way in which male and female National Socialist perpetrators are represented. I evaluated the ways in which they are shown – photographs, documents, three-dimensional objects, composition on the whole. Hereby, I focused on possible gender codes and on given explanations for the subjects' behavior. The researched exhibitions and museums are Mittelbau-Dora Memorial, Grafeneck Memorial, Documentation Centre Nazi Party Rally Grounds in Nürnberg, Wewelsburg 1933–1945 Memorial Museum and Documentation Obersalzberg in Germany, and Mauthausen Memorial, as well as, Hartheim Memorial in Austria. At the 24th International Conference of Europeanists, Sustainability and Transformation, I would like to present my results. Especially, I would like to discuss them towards current European perspectives to National Socialism and the Second World War in context of the ongoing series of crisis.

  • Abstract Kleinmann.pdf (100.0 kB)