Literaturtipps

tl_files/images/aktuelles/Newsletter/Ausgabe 7 April 2016/Konzentrationslager, Heft 1.jpgGarbe, Detlef; Morsch, Günter (eds.): Kriegsendverbrechen zwischen Untergangschaos und Vernichtungsprogramm. – Berlin: Metropol 2015 (Konzentrationslager: Studien zur Geschichte des NS-Terrors; no. 1)

The final phase of the “Third Reich” was accompanied by a scarcely believable increase in terror and violence. There was no murderous action that the Nazis backed away from, no barbarism or atrocity they were not afraid to use, no “enemy” who could feel safe. The “total war” they had declared meant the “total annihilation” of people, countries, cities, villages. The absolute will of the Nazi regime to exterminate and destroy no longer had any systematic or economic rationale.

In its first issue, the journal Konzentrationslager. Studien zur Geschichte des NS-Terrors, looks at the crimes committed as the war was coming to an end. Editors and authors trace the evidence that indicates how the National Socialists, facing impeding defeat, now sought to achieve primarily the criminal ideological goals of their politics of extermination, casting off inhibitions and liberated from pragmatic military, economic or social considerations as well as sensitivities in the population.

The journal sees itself as a forum for researching the Nazi camps, seeking to cover the vast spectrum of themes involving the camp system and its history after the war, while also stimulating the historical debate on National Socialism and the mass violence unleashed by states in the twentieth century.

 

Hördler: Ordnung und InfernoHördler, Stefan: Ordnung und Inferno. Das KZ-System im letzten Kriegsjahr. – Göttingen: Wallstein 2015

Stefan Hördler calls into question the predominant view of current research, namely that the concluding stage of the Nazi concentration camps was characterized by disorganization, chaos, and random measures: he shows that a comprehensive reorganization of the concentration camp system was launched in March 1944 and that the final year of the war represents a distinct stage in the genesis of the camps. From 1944 onwards the Nazi regime pursued two goals: an accelerated economization of the camp system and its stabilization. To analysis both dimensions the author introduces the concept of rationalization, enabling both the mass murder and the utilitarian-oriented “selection” of prisoners able to work to be seen as part of this development.

 

Edition Mein KampfInstitut für Zeitgeschichte München – Berlin: Hitler, Mein Kampf. Eine kritische Edition; vol. I und II. – Munich: Institut für Zeitgeschichte 2016

More than twelve million copies of Adolf Hitler’s propaganda work Mein Kampf were printed up to 1945 and distributed throughout the population. It has since then been prohibited to publish any further editions. Now for the first time, 70 years after Hitler’s death, the Institute for Contemporary History has published an annotated critical edition of this notorious work.

Mein Kampf is Hitler’s most important political work. It is – all at once – a stylized autobiography, ideological program, history of the Nazi Party, inflammatory propaganda piece, and a guide on how to gain power, in Germany and beyond. Nowhere else did Hitler explain so openly and in such detail what he believed and wanted than in this work. Mein Kampf is thus one of the main sources for understanding National Socialism. The critically annotated edition of the Institute for Contemporary History is meticulous in its treatment of this source: it arranges the historical facts, explains the original context, reveals Hitler’s intellectual precursors, and contrasts his ideas and assertions to the results of modern research. Not least, the edition shows how Hitler’s ideology influenced the criminal politics pursued by the Nazi regime from 1933 onwards. Because Hitler, Mein Kampf. Eine kritische Edition aims at shedding light on the political and historical myths propagated, its form and style deliberately addresses a broad reading public.

 

Knoll: Der Rosa-Winkel-GedenksteinKnoll, Albert (ed.): Der Rosa-Winkel-Gedenkstein. Die Erinnerung an die Homosexuellen im KZ-Dachau. – Munich: Forum Homosexualität e.V. 2015 (Splitter; vol. 13)

“Totgeschlagen – Totgeschwiegen” (“bashed up – hushed up”) reads the inscription on the commemorative plaque for the prisoners forced to wear the pink triangular patch. In 1985 it was the wish of Munich’s gay groups to have this plaque of pink marble hung in the Memorial Site’s museum, as a way of addressing the topic of the persecution of homosexuals at this location at least. What followed however was a decade-long struggle against old prejudices, not only amongst the survivors of the concentration camp but also in political circles. Continuous pressure from the gay scene, backed by a shift in the zeitgeist, finally brought about change – this victim group was finally included in commemorations on equal footing with the other groups.

The controversy and discussion about the long-ostracized victim group of the homosexuals began 30 years ago. To mark the occasion, the book examines the background to their persecution and follows the long struggle to gain worthy remembrance.

 

Müller-Hohagen: Wagnis SolidaritätMüller-Hohagen, Jürgen; Müller-Hohagen, Ingeborg: Wagnis Solidarität. Zeugnisse des Widerstehens angesichts der NS-Gewalt. – Gießen: Psychosozialverlag 2015

In the Nazi era human solidarity was destroyed with brutal violence. The repercussions reverberate down into the present. Persons who dared to engage in political resistance against Nazi violence are still paid far too little attention in the public discourse. Their courage, their displays of solidarity and their unstinting commitment to ideas of humanity have only been partially appreciated, their importance as models for the present and the future yet to be fully acknowledged.

The focus of this book is thus on the testimonies of former concentration camp prisoners who, motivated by their convictions, engaged in acts of resistance and solidarity. Ingeborg and Jürgen Müller-Hohagen look at the long-term and transgenerational consequences of the destruction of human solidarity. They analyze the process of “forgetting” that began in 1945 and was very differently accentuated in West and East Germany. Drawing in part on their own experiences in psychotherapy, counselling, and schools, they relate this constellation to current day challenges and thus seek to contribute to a society that is even more strongly defined by solidarity.

 

tl_files/images/aktuelles/Newsletter/Ausgabe 7 April 2016/Internationales Mahnmal Nandor Glid.jpg

Riedle, Andrea; Schretter, Lukas (eds.): Das Internationale Mahnmal von Nandor Glid / The International Monument by Nandor Glid. Idee, Wettbewerbe, Realisierung / Idea, Competitions, Realization; Katalog zur Sonderausstellung / Catalog of the special exhibition. – Berlin: Metropol 2015

The International Monument is the main place of remembrance in the Dachau Memorial Site. It was initiated in the 1950s by the Comité International de Dachau (CID), the association of concentration camp survivors. To realize the project the CID held two international design competitions in 1959 and 1965, which were won by the Yugoslav artist Nandor Glid with his concept for a large monument complex and a central bronze sculpture. The inauguration, overshadowed by student protests and physical altercations, took place on September 8, 1968.

To mark the seventieth anniversary of liberation in 2015, the Dachau Memorial Site opened a special exhibition on the background history and reception of the International Monument. The exhibition and catalog revolve around important works of art by Nandor Glid, who spent his whole life exploring resistance and persecution in National Socialism artistically. In addition, hitherto mainly unknown competition contributions by sculptors and architects from Britain, France, Germany, Austria, and the former Yugoslavia are presented. Draft plans and photographs illustrate the design and layout of the Monument.