Wallstein Verlag

Imke Hansen

» Auschwitz: Never Again! «

The Creation of a Symbol and the Everyday Life of a Memorial Site 1945 –1955

312 pages
ISBN: 978-3-8353-1630-0


German Version

Rights available.

The conflicts surrounding the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial in the immediate post-war period.

»Auschwitz« has today become an international synonym for homicide and holocaust. In the immediate post-war period, however, its path was by no means predetermined. The approach towards the former extermination camp was the subject of intensive discussions within Polish post-war society. There were various opposing ideas for the design and use of the site and for the political, religious and cultural classification of its history.
The starting point of Imke Hansen’s work is the area of tension between the prominence of the site and the incongruity – or even irreconcilability – of its various symbolic values, even up to the present day. The authoress examines the origins and development of the Auschwitz-Birkenau symbol and the memorial in the first post-war decade.

She devotes special attention to the everyday life of the memorial, events held and decisions made there. In many cases, these were more significant for the representation of Auschwitz-Birkenau than historical-political directives.

Awarded the prize »Auschwitz Foundation – Remembrance of Auschwitz«.

The Authoress
Imke Hansen, born 1978, historicist at the Hugo Valentin Centre of the University of Uppsala, research focus: 20th century East European history, Holocaust studies.
Publications include: Erfahrung und Erinnerung. Neue Perspektiven der Konzentrationslagerforschung (Experience and Memory. New Perspectives of Concentration Camp Research, co-ed., 2014); Lebenswelt Ghetto. Alltag und soziales Umfeld während der nationalsozialistischen Verfolgung (Life in the Ghetto. Everyday Life and Social Surroundings during the National Socialist Persecution, co-ed., 2013).
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