Scientific Journal: ‘Testimony’ - Auschwitz Foundation
Scientific Journal: ‘Testimony’

 temoigner 133 smgetuigen 132 smtemoigner 131 smThe Auschwitz Foundation and Remembrance of Auschwitz publish their journal (which has existed for 25 years) twice a year. It thus disseminates current multidisciplinary research on the Nazi camps and the genocide of the Jews and Roma. It has been able to open the door to the most current debates on issues of memory and history.

In view of the growing interest in memorial issues, at the crossroads of many disciplines, from history to literature and the arts, from sociology to political science, and in view of the equally growing demand from the public, when issue No. 100 was due for publication, we decided to revamp our journal. The aim is to make up for the absence of a publication that deals with both questions of memory and questions of history without pitting one against the other.

 

Without abandoning their original mission, and with the experience and knowledge they have acquired, the Auschwitz Foundation and Remembrance of Auschwitz are now taking on the task of opening up their field of research to the problems of mass violence in the long historical term.

Avoiding any anachronism, they propose to critically revisit both the past and the present of our modernity and of a century during which wars, large-scale political violence and massacres – from genocides to ethnic cleansing – in which the responsibility of States was directly or indirectly involved.

Through Testimony: Between History and Memory, their aim is to boost the movement of a critical re-reading of these issues from both a historiographical and memorial point of view. They offer a new insight into our contemporary history.

The new format of our journal Testimony: Between History and Memory was introduced with issue 117. Half is taken up by an academic section (thematic dossier and varia) and half by a cultural section dealing with current cultural issues of memory and testimony. It consists of a logbook, sections, and a portfolio.

Just published : no. 133 (October 2021): 1918-1938: The politicisation of music in Europe

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This dossier looks at the instrumentalisation of music by the political world between the wars. The cases are numerous and shed light on the way in which political propaganda was propagated in European musical culture.

Table of contents (Dutch version)

Table of contents (French version)

Previously published: no. 132 (April 2021): The AKTION REINHARDT and the AKTION ERNTEFEST

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The Aktion Reinhardt saw approximately 1.8 million Polish Jews perish in the gas chambers of Bełżec, Sobibór, Treblinka and Majdanek between March 1942 and November 1943. The Jews who ‘escaped’ the gas chambers were shot in Majdanek, Trawniki and Poniatowa on 3 and 4 November 1943 during Aktion Erntefest. The dossier we are proposing takes stock of current research on the Aktion Reinhardt. This historical event has experienced a resurgence of interest among historians of the Shoah over the last fifteen years, thanks, among other things, to archaeological advances at the various sites concerned. We have come a long way since Yithzak Arad's pioneering work in 1987: Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: the Operation Reinhard Death Camps. The dossier highlights different perspectives to discuss current research related to the issue. It addresses the erasure of traces, the sociological perspectives of the executioners, the excavation of extermination sites and the most recent historiography.

Table of contents and abstracts (Dutch version)

Table of contents and abstracts (French version)


Contacts:

Auschwitz Foundation and Remembrance of Auschwitz
Phone: +32 (0)2 512 79 98

Publication Director: Henri Goldberg

Editor-in-Chief: Frédéric Crahay

Editorial Secretaries: Fabian Van Samang (journal in Dutch and English) and Nathalie Peeters (journal in French and English)

 

Editorial Board:

Daniel Acke, Pascale Fabre, Agnès Graceffa, Johan Puttemans, Maarten Van Alstein, Yannik van Praag and Guy Zelis.

 

Scientific Committee:

Thomas Baum (Belgium), Marnix Beyen (Belgium), Christophe Busch (Belgium), Sonia Combe (France), Bernard Dan (Belgium), Emmanuelle Danblon (Belgium), Wim De Vos (Belgium), Fransiska Louwagie (Belgium), Carlo Saletti (Italy), Frediano Sessi (Italy).

 

The journal is available on line at
openedition.org


revues.org

All issues

  • No. 133 (10/2021) 1918-1938: The politicisation of music in Europe

    getuigen 133 sm

     

    1918-1938: The politicisation of music in Europe

    This dossier looks at the instrumentalisation of music by the political world between the wars. The cases are numerous and shed light on the way in which political propaganda was propagated in European musical culture.

    Table of contents (Dutch version)

    Table of contents (French version)

    No. 132 (04/2021) AKTION REINHARDT and AKTION ERNTEFEST

    temoigner 132 sm

     

    AKTION REINHARDT and AKTION ERNTEFEST

    The Aktion Reinhardt saw approximately 1.8 million Polish Jews perish in the gas chambers of Bełżec, Sobibór, Treblinka and Majdanek between March 1942 and November 1943. The Jews who ‘escaped’ the gas chambers were shot in Majdanek, Trawniki and Poniatowa on 3 and 4 November 1943 during Aktion Erntefest. The dossier we are proposing takes stock of current research on the Aktion Reinhardt. This historical event has experienced a resurgence of interest among historians of the Shoah over the last fifteen years, thanks, among other things, to archaeological advances at the various sites concerned. We have come a long way since Yithzak Arad's pioneering work in 1987: Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: the Operation Reinhard Death Camps. The dossier highlights different perspectives to discuss current research related to the issue. It addresses the erasure of traces, the sociological perspectives of the executioners, the excavation of extermination sites and the most recent historiography.

    Table of contents and abstracts (Dutch version)

    Table of contents and abstracts (French version)

    No. 131 (10/2020) Historiography of the Second World War in the Far East

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    Historiography of the Second World War in the Far East

    For many people, 8 May 1945 and the surrender of Nazi Germany is the final chapter of the Second World War. However, it is often forgotten that the months between May and September 1945 were decisive for the future of the world, as fierce fighting continued in the Pacific between the United States and the Japanese Empire until the latter’s unconditional surrender on 2 September 1945, the actual date of the end of the Second World War.

    Table of contents and abstracts (Dutch version)

    Table of contents and abstracts (French version)

    No. 130 (04/2020) Reception of the Shoah and mentalities in Jewish and Christian circles

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    Reception of the Shoah and mentalities in Jewish and Christian circles

    The reception of the Shoah has become, for all of humanity, a place of questioning and awareness. This dossier will aim to establish and evaluate the modalities and challenges of the transmission of the Shoah and to measure the resulting changes in identities and mentalities. What were the Catholic views on Judaism before and during the Shoah? What Jewish liturgies and interreligious rites exist for the commemoration of the Shoah in Israel and the United States? The evolution of mentalities in the Jewish world in relation to the Shoah will also be exposed through the analysis of the so-called Bitburg controversy, triggered by the visit of the American President, Ronald Reagan, to the German military cemetery of Bitburg (FRG) in May 1985. The Auschwitz Carmel affair (1985-1993) finally reveals the involvement of the Belgian and French Churches in the resolution of the conflict and is undoubtedly a key stage in the Church's 'teaching of esteem' with regard to the Jews. The historical answers provided in this dossier to the question of the Shoah may be decisive for the survival of Judaism and the relationship between Judaism and Christianity.

    Table of contents and abstracts (Dutch version)

    Table of contents and abstracts (French version)

    No. 129 (10/2019) Recognition of victims

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    Recognition of victims

    In recent decades, the idea has gained ground that victims of mass crimes deserve recognition. This has become an essential category of our memorial culture. This dossier aims to take stock of this issue by looking at the broad spectrum of measures to ensure recognition, from simple remembrance to targeted judicial interventions, and by recalling the growing importance of the victim in international criminal justice. It returns to the problematic aspects of recognition when it leads to competition among victims.

    Table of contents and abstracts (Dutch version)

    Table of contents and abstracts (French version)

    No. 128 (04/2019) 25 years on, how to remember the Tutsi genocide

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    Kwibuka [Remember]. 25 years on, how to remember the Tutsi genocide

    April 1994. Images of mutilated bodies are projected on European screens, originating from Rwanda. 25 years later, we remember.

    Table of contents and abstracts (Dutch version)

    Table of contents and abstracts (French version)

    No. 127 (10/2018) Perpetuation of violence after 1918

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    Perpetuation of violence after 1918

    One hundred years ago, the First World War ended in November 1918. After four years of bloodshed, peace returns to Europe. At least, that was the impression of the victors at the time, and today it is also the impression of the commemorators who celebrate its centenary. The historical reality is more complex. At least until 1923, violence continued in the form of revolutions and counter-revolutions, wars and civil wars. The spirits also remain in the grip of violence on both the left and the right. The dossier proposes to define the contours of this Europe so strongly marked by the Great War, by evoking the culture of violence established by it and which, finally, degenerated into the total explosion of the Second World War.

    Full text available here

    No. 126 (04/2018) Questions about the future of remembrance work

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    Questions about the future of remembrance work

    On 20 and 21 January 2017, the seminar ‘Questions on the future of remembrance work’ was held in Esch-sur-Alzette, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The five articles in this dossier taken from the conference proceedings attempt to answer the following questions: How can we build a critical memory of the Shoah, free of myths and national fragmentation? How do we anticipate the absence of direct witnesses? In the future, who transmits what, and how?

    Full text available here

    No. 125 (10/2017) Persecution of homosexuals by the Nazis

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    Persecution of homosexuals by the Nazis

    Historical knowledge of the Nazi persecution of homosexuals and their deportation has made significant progress in recent years due to the increase in research on the subject. In this dossier, recognised researchers as well as young doctoral and PhD students take the floor. The insights they provide concern both the question of the singular destiny of homosexual men and women during the Second World War and the way in which the memory of the homosexual victims of Nazism has evolved since the end of that war.

    Full text available here

    No. 124 (04/2017) Music in the camps

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    Music in the camps

    Music was an integral part of the concentration camp world, Nazi and otherwise. What kind of music was composed and performed, and what exactly was its role in the camps? A factor of survival and resistance for the prisoners, a way for them to express their hope and their humanity - or, on the contrary, an instrument of oppression exploited by the executioners? What is the function of music in the work of memory following the experience of extreme violence and suffering? This dossier proposes to explore these issues.

    Full text available here

    No. 123 (10/2016) Translating Memory

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    Translating Memory

    Presentation of the dossier: What is the relationship between testimony, defined as a more or less ritualized firstperson account of political violence, and translation? Correspondingly, how does the translator position herself towards the witness? Can the translator be, or become, a witness? How, when and why are testimonies translated? Which linguistic and discursive strategies do translators resort to when faced with ethically challenging texts? Which role do they play exactly in the transmission of the historical knowledge, cultural values or social critique conveyed by the testimony? Does translation weaken or rather reinforce the relevance and impact of the original statement? How important is translation in literary, political and institutional settings? Do these specific settings determine translation practice in significant ways? To which extent can subsequent processes of transcription, editing, translation and archiving affect the source text? And how accurate are the boundaries we draw to distinguish witnessing from translating, documentary from literary testimony, the original from its translation? These are the main questions we intend to explore in our dossier.

    Full text available here

    No. 122 (04/2016) Revisionism and negationism

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    Revisionism and negationism

    Strictly speaking, Holocaust denial is the ‘doctrine denying the reality of the Nazi genocide of the Jews, including the existence of the gas chambers’; by extension, the term refers to the denial of other genocides and crimes against humanity. The literature on Holocaust denial is extensive. There are studies on the subject in many countries as well as biographies of deniers. The argumentative and rhetorical strategies of the deniers have been widely deciphered. Websites systematically dismantle their fallacies. While there is no shortage of reliable information on the phenomenon, it is essential to return to it again and again, for several reasons.

    Full text available here

    No. 121 (10/2015) Extreme violence on stage

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    Extreme violence on stage

    Extreme violence shows itself. It bursts through the screens. It surfs from one style and medium to another: news reports, documentaries, fiction, arts of all kinds. Yet theatre distinguishes itself from this mêlée all while constantly returning to the subject. Differently. Linked from its origins to the representation of cruelty and having “miraculously” escaped the often sterile polemics on the interdiction (or not)... of representing the Holocaust, it is still with the same youthfulness that theatre deals with extreme violence today, relentlessly pursuing the articulation of ethics and aesthetics.

    Full text available here

    No. 120 (04/2015) What future is there for the memory of the Armenian genocide?

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    What future is there for the memory of the Armenian genocide?

    The 1915 genocide of Turkish Armenians still stirs up numerous debates, controversies, declarations of principle, statements and counter-statements, and even negation. However, as we speak, ties are being established more and more openly, bridges are built and bonds strengthened between the Armenian and Turkish communities. Is reconciliation possible?

    Full text available here

    No. 119 (12/2014) 70 years ago, Auschwitz. Looking back on Primo Levi

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    70 years ago, Auschwitz. Looking back on Primo Levi

    27 January 1945. Seventy years ago the first soldiers of the Red Army marched into Auschwitz. One might argue that the camp was “liberated” then, but the truth is that neither Auschwitz, nor any of the other Nazi camps, was ever a priority to the Allied Powers. Primo Levi was one of the few survivors who knew how to hide and escape the enforced evacuation of the camps. With this dossier, we want to cast light on the complex figure that Levi was: a Jew, a deportee, a chemists, a witness, and a writer. It sets out to study his oeuvre and his interpretation of the notions of “resistance” and “engagement”, in order to understand how he eventually became a “professional survivor”, as he once described himself.

    Full text available here

    No. 118 (09/2014) Dictatorship and terror in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay

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    In the name of the victims. Dictatorship and State terror in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay 

    During the 1970s and 1980s, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay were in the grip of military dictatorships. The process of democratic transition that followed the long period of state terror involved the construction of particular narratives and memories, leading to a reconfiguration of the past. Despite local differences, this process is very much centered at the figure of the victim – a figure the articles in this dossier, collected by Claudia Feld, Luciana Messina and Nadia Tahir, set out to explore.

    Full text available here

    No. 117 (03/2014) Friends? Enemies? Relationships between memories

     

    Amis ? Ennemis ? Relations entre mémoires / Vriend of vijand? Hoe herinneringen zich tot elkaar verhouden [Friends? Enemies? Relationships between memories]

    Much has been said and written about group memories, limiting their mutual relationships and history to conflicts, “wars”, competitions, or strategies for eclipsing or silencing. These terms have now become the platitudes of a kind of more general doxa about collective and cultural remembrance. This dossier proposes a critical reading of those terms and of that doxa by questioning the emergence, constitution, and inter-relating of different exemplary memories of the major violent episodes of the 20th century. It will address the relationships that those memories can maintain with other memories with which they share, if not the same event, at least similar characteristics and concerns.

    Full text available here

    No. 116 (09/2013) Memory trips

     

    Voyages mémoriels / Herdenkingsreizen [Memory trips]

    Should we fear what has been grouped under the term “memorial tourism”? Or should we take this as a reality of our time? Can any visitor, group or individual, nowadays be absorbed in the category of “tourist”? Or is this category a remote intellectual reduction of a personal experience that everyone is aiming during his visit? The problem appears in a somewhat different light when we think of tours for young people supervised by adults, usually teachers. This dossier gives the floor to historians and teachers with experience in the field.

    Full text available here

    No. 115 (03/2013) Memory construction in Spain

     

    L’Espagne en construction mémorielle / Spanje en de opbouw van de gedachtenis [Memory construction in Spain]

    This dossier’s objective is to provide a benchmark for understanding the plural identities and relationships between memories and representation forms in contemporary Spain. Indeed, it is necessary today to take a fresh look not only on the stratified memories of the civil war, exile and the Franco repression, but also on the reception of other memories such as that of the Holocaust, and to propose new readings. We propose to highlight the conflicting or fruitful tensions between official actions, initiatives of associations and of artistic events.

    Full text available here

    No. 114 (12/2012) Memorial Sites

     

    Sites mémoriels / Gedenkplaatsen [Memorial Sites]

    Memorial sites constitute the concrete trace of European remembrance and history of the twentieth century. But what do they look like today? Exhibition and conservation criteria have changed during the last ten to fifteen years, like advances in historical research have changed the way we read and reconstruct past events. This is not only due to the fact that we have moved from a past history written by witnesses to a history written by professional historians. A new consciousness has emerged concerning transmission methods (memory education), and archeology has strengthened historical research. We tore off the veil of ideology that often influenced and prescribed the way we imagined permanent exhibitions, conservation and visits. Can we say we have entered a new era in memory transmission? It remains, in many ways, an open bet on the present and the future.

    Full text available here

    No. 113 (09/2012) The Taboos of German History

     

    Les tabous de l'histoire allemande / De taboes van de Duitse geschiedenis The Taboos of German History]

    The most painful or ambiguous periods in twentieth-century German history are characterized by numerous taboos, expressed in literature, photography and film as so many “returns of the repressed”. These studies focus in part on problems of antisemitism, and thus on the relationship of German-speaking societies to the Shoah. They also examine the way in which those societies confronted the violence they suffered, such as bombing, fleeing from the Red Army and the expulsions, and mass rapes.

    Full text available here

    No. 112 (06/2012) Children of the Spanish Civil War

     

    Les enfants de la Guerre d'Espagne. Expériences et représentations culturelles / De kinderen van de Spaanse Burgeroorlog. Ervaringen en culturele voorstellingen [Children of the Spanish Civil War: Experiences and Cultural Representations]

    The dossier in this issue deals with the experiences and cultural representations of childhood during the Spanish Civil War. It aims to help towards a better understanding of that conflict, which tore apart a population living on the same territory, by confronting the experiences of Spanish children who lived through it – as expressed in various forms during or after the war – with representations of those same children, particularly those coming from adults.

    Full text available here

    No. 111 (12/ 2011) Dangerous Game between Art and Propaganda

     

    Art & propagande : jeux inter-dits / Gevaarlijk spel tussen kunst en propaganda [Dangerous Game between Art and Propaganda]

    Since the media came into existence, political institutions from political parties to governments have used them to promote their image, in order to win the support of the public they addressed. Authoritarian powers use the media as a means of consolidating their domination. But how can artists take part in propaganda, whose purposes are the opposite of those generally attributed to art? Does that mean setting aside their vocation, or do they themselves distort that vocation?

    Full text available here

    No. 110 (10/2011) Displacements, Deportations, Exile

     

    Déplacements, déportations, exils / Volksverhuizingen, deportaties, verbanningen [Displacements, Deportations, Exile]

    States and criminal groups exploit population displacements to isolate or get rid of certain populations. In addition to being denied their normal rights, these populations lose visibility and are deprived of their reference points and social frameworks. In this way it is possible to make them the victims of constraints (deterritorialization, forced labor…) or violence (famine, massacres genocide…). These developments have spread on an unprecedented scale since the First World War and continue to grow worldwide. But there is also a dimension of remembrance to this reality: memories of these displacements are now being expressed in literature, and in exhibitions and museums. This dossier examines the contemporary double aspect of history and memory.

    Full text available here

    No. 109 (03/ 2011) 20th Century Wars and Genocides in Graphic Novels and Comic Strips

     

    La bande dessinée dans l'orbe des guerres et des génocides du XXe siècle / Twintigste-eeuwse oorlogen en genociden in het stripverhaal [Twentieth Century Wars and Genocides as Portrayed in Graphic Novels and Comic Strips]

    Full text available here

    No. 108 (09/2010) How Documentaries Handle History

     

    Le traitement de l'histoire dans les documentaires filmiques / De behandeling van de geschiedenis in de documentaire film  [How Documentaries Handle History]

    Full text available here

    No. 107 (06/2010) Avowal

     

    L'Aveu / De bekentenis [Avowal]

    Full text available here

    No. 106 (03/2010): False Witnesses

     

    Faux Témoins / Valse getuigen [False Witnesses]

    Full text available here

    No. 104 (09/2009) Anti-fascism Revisited: History, Ideology, Remembrance

     

    L'Antifascisme revisité. Histoire – Idéologie – Mémoire / Nogmaals antifascisme. Geschiedenis, ideologie, gedachtenis [Anti-fascism Revisited: History, Ideology, Remembrance]

    Full text available here

    No. 103 (06/ 2009) Nazi Crimes and Genocides on the Screen

     

    Crimes et génocides nazis à l'écran / Nazimisdaden en genociden op het scherm [Nazi Crimes and Genocides on the Screen]

    Full text available here

    No. 102 (03/ 2009) The Portrayal of Political Criminals in Films, Plays, Literature...

     

    Criminels politiques en représentation. Arts, cinéma, théâtre, littérature, médias / De representatie van politieke misdadigers. Kunst, film, theater, literatuur, media [The Portrayal of Political Criminals in Films and Plays, in Literature and in the Media]

    Full text available here

    No. 101 (12/2008) How to Educate, How to Remember?

     

    Quelle pédagogie, pour quelle(s) mémoire(s) ? / Welke pedagogie, voor welke herinnering(en)?  [How to Educate, How to Remember?]

    Full text available here

    No. 100 (09/2008) Questions about the “Executioners”

     

    Questions de « bourreaux » / De kwestie van de “beul” [Questions about the “Executioners”]

    Full text available here

Contact

Auschwitz Foundation – Remembrance of Auschwitz
Rue aux Laines 17 box 50 – B-1000 Brussels
   +32 (0)2 512 79 98
   info@auschwitz.be
BCE/KBO Auschwitz Foundation: 0876787354
BCE/KBO Remembrance of Auschwitz: 0420667323

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