Search Results

You are looking at 41 - 50 of 207 items for :

  • All content x
Clear All
Restricted access

Florence Fröhlig

This article examines visits by French people to the former Soviet prison camp in Tambov, Russia, where Alsatians-Mosellans men were imprisoned during World War II. Because the memory of these prisoners of war, conscripted by force into the German army during the war is disappearing together with the witnesses, some survivors organized in the 1990s journeys to the Tambov former prison camp, called “pilgrimages.“ There are currently two kinds of pilgrimages: pilgrimages for survivors of the camp and their close relatives and pilgrimages for grandchildren of former Tambov inmates. This article suggests that the pilgrims, confronting their past, are engaged with a process of identity making, and that pilgrimage provides pilgrims with the opportunity to confront their grief for the dead or their sense of injustice and to let go of the past. The article concludes that with the pilgrimage the value of Tambov as a place of death is re-evaluated.

Restricted access

Douglas Smith

In June 1951, Sartre’s play The Devil and the Good Lord (Le Diable et le Bon Dieu) was first produced at the Théâtre Antoine in Paris. Set during the German Peasants’ War, the play recounts the story of Goetz, a military leader who transforms himself from a feared and notorious war criminal into a saint and folk hero through a series of arbitrary acts of clemency and generosity. First sparing the besieged town of Worms from total destruction, Goetz then proceeds to break up his own estates and redistribute the land among the peasantry. Far from being presented as an ethical conversion from Evil to Good, however, Goetz’s generosity is twice criticised within the play as a strategem to achieve even greater domination over the beneficiaries of his mercy and munificence.

Restricted access

Bruce Baugh

The fiftieth anniversary issue of Les Temps modernes leads off with an article by Jacques Derrida, “‘Il courait mort’: Salut, salut. Notes pour un courrier aux Temps modernes,” a tribute both to Les Temps modernes and to its founder, Jean-Paul Sartre. For those who have followed what Derrida has said over the years, this “tribute” came as something of a surprise. Derrida, after all, had mocked Sartre as the “onto-phenomenologist of freedom,” always in search of a “fundamental project” that could explain an individual’s whole life; he called “daring” or “risky” Sartre’s criticism of Bataille for having a shaky understanding of German philosophical terms and concepts when Sartre himself had, in Derrida’s view, a very inadequate grasp of Hegel, Husserl and Heidegger.

Restricted access

Holocaust Tourism in Berlin

Global Memory, Trauma and the 'Negative Sublime'

Andrew S. Gross

This essay argues that the construction of the Jewish Museum Berlin and the Berlin Holocaust Memorial constitutes a paradigm shift in Holocaust commemoration in Germany. The structures architecturally resemble their US counterparts and particularly the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum more than they do the other memorials and museums in Berlin’s complex commemorative landscape. American responses to the European catastrophe have significantly impacted European commemorative forms. Indeed, an internationally recognizable memorial architecture seems to be emerging, one emphasizing gaps, voids, incongruities and the personal relation to what theorists and commentators have begun to call ‘negative’ or ‘evil sublime’. Contemporary memorials and museums are not designed to ‘merely’ house collections; rather, they draw attention to themselves as symbols and symptoms of traumatic memory. They act out the trauma of the Holocaust as architecture; walking through them is supposed to be a step towards working through that trauma as feeling and experience.

Restricted access

Ruth Ginio

The article examines the ways in which French officers manipulated the image of the "savage and violent" African colonial soldier. While the background for the development of this image was the general European perception of Africa as a violent space, during World War I, officers, as well as parts of the French public, began to see Africans as "grown children" rather than savages. However, as this image served French military purposes and made the soldiers useful on the battlefields, it was not rejected outright. I look at the debate around recruiting Africans to serve in Europe on the eve of World War I, and the French attempts to refute the German accusations around the deployment of African soldiers in the Rhineland during the 1920s. Finally I examine how, thirty years later, during the Indochina War, African officers dealt with these conflicting images in reports about violent incidents in which African soldiers had been involved.

Restricted access

Yves Pourcher

This article details the results of a very long investigation into the life of a character who incarnates the darkest years of French history. Pierre Laval, first a cabinet member and then Council President, was the leader of a collaboration government under German occupation. The research was undertaken in the archives that his son-in-law, Count René de Chambrun, had assembled in his offices and apartment in Paris. It led to the discovery of a new source: the private notebooks that Josée, Pierre Laval's only child, had kept between 1936 and 1992. Once deciphered and analyzed, this source constitutes an extraordinary narrative of the period. It reveals the complicity of a worldly, fashionable milieu that never opened its eyes to the seriousness of what was happening. It reconstitutes the choices and cultural codes of French high society, which submitted meekly to the Nazis. This text emphasizes issues of methodology and the difficulties that writing this story entailed.

Restricted access

Yves Pourcher

This article details the results of a very long investigation into the life of a character who incarnates the darkest years of French history. Pierre Laval, first a cabinet member and then Council President, was the leader of a collaboration government under German occupation. The research was undertaken in the archives that his son-in-law, Count René de Chambrun, had assembled in his offices and apartment in Paris. It led to the discovery of a new source: the private notebooks that Josée, Pierre Laval's only child, had kept between 1936 and 1992. Once deciphered and analyzed, this source constitutes an extraordinary narrative of the period. It reveals the complicity of a worldly, fashionable milieu that never opened its eyes to the seriousness of what was happening. It reconstitutes the choices and cultural codes of French high society, which submitted meekly to the Nazis. This text emphasizes issues of methodology and the difficulties that writing this story entailed.

Restricted access

Regards croisés

James Henry Dorugu's Nineteenth-Century European Travel Account

Winckler

This article focuses on the little known travel account: The Life and Travels of Dorugu recorded by James Henry Dorugu in the 1850s. Dorugu was a freed slave, who traveled from Africa to Europe with the German explorer Heinrich Barth in 1855. Dorugu's story is a precious and rare eyewitness account of a nineteenth-century African visitor to London, Hamburg, and Berlin. Most travel writing of the period was done by Western travelers who observed the cultures they visited from a eurocentric perspective. In Dorugu's account, the observed becomes the observer. The stories told by the African guides are indispensable to our contemporary understanding of historical expeditions. Although marginalized at the fringes of official histories, Dorugu played a pivotal role as an informed mediator among European explorers, missionaries, and Africans.

Restricted access

Sebald's Ghosts

Traveling among the Dead in The Rings of Saturn

Simon Cooke

W.G. Sebald's The Rings of Saturn ([1998] 2002), originally published in German in 1995 as Die Ringe des Saturn: eine englische Wallfahrt [An English Pilgrimage], recounts a walking tour of the English county of Suffolk. As the narrative weaves through an array of histories, memories, dreams, and textual and visual forms, it creates an East Anglian arena for a world tour of death, destruction, and atrocity: the traveler attempts to unearth skulls, examines paintings of autopsies, spends time in graveyards, incorporates photographs of Nazi death camps, and patterns it into a work of sublime elegy. Is Sebald, then, the ultimate "dark tourist"? Or, as this article proposes, is it through an insistence on the omnipresence of death and the interconnections between different sites of trauma and the everyday that Sebald's work, while in one sense embodying a thanatological impulse, also powerfully resists the commodification of the thanatouristic attraction?

Restricted access

Ohm Krüger's Travels

A Case Study in the Export of Third-Reich Film Propaganda

Roel Vande Winkel

The Nazi propaganda film Ohm Krüger (Uncle Krüger, 1941) utilized former South African statesman Paul Kruger and his role in the Boer War to promote a virulently anti-British message. By analyzing the international career of Ohm Krüger, this article reassesses the propaganda value traditionally ascribed to the film in an attempt to encourage further research on the exportation of Third-Reich cinema. The parallels between the British invasion and occupation of Boer land, as represented in the film, and the Nazis' invasion and occupation of European countries were so striking that Ohm Krüger was exported almost exclusively to nations allied with Germany while being withheld from occupied territories. The one notable exception was France, which had a long tradition of anti-British sentiment.