The Development of Negative Commemoration in the Federal Republic of Germany. The Example of Buchenwald Memorial Site

Published: 20. July 2020
Category: Humanities
Author: Birgit Harreß

On 17 April 2017 the new permanent exhibition Ostracism and Violence 1937 to 1945 was opened at the Buchenwald Memorial. Its concept has been jointly designed by survivors of the concentration camp, such as Éva Fahidi-Pusztai from Hungary, Bertrand Herz from France, Naftali Fürst from Israel, Ottomar Rothmann from Germany, and Ivan Ivanji from Serbia, furthermore by historians, history education experts, and museologists. All participants agreed on the fact that this exhibition will be the last of its kind, because, on the one hand, the youngest victims are over 80 years old by now; on the other hand, there are ever less contemporary witnesses amongst the audience and, in the majority, young people visit Buchenwald Memorial. Accordingly, the new permanent exhibition combines “taking leave of the past with looking ahead to the future”, as Volkhard Knigge, Director of the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation, emphasizes:...

Buchenwald_Publikation_2020_English_Birgit Harreß

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