thrilling, life-threatening car tour through the desert to Lake Eyre and on to Port Pirie where the Ross family was glad to board a ship of the German shipping company Hamburg America Line (HAPAG), where they were served cold German beer before continuing
Austro-German Filmmaker, Bestselling Author, and Journalist Colin Ross Discovers Australia
English Travellers and the Rhine in the Long Nineteenth Century
One summer morning, Lady Jephson, a regular visitor to the German spa towns on the Rhine, stepped onto her balcony and burst into song. She sang with anger and pride, a spontaneous reaction to the sounds she had heard all day long, songs shouted by German children who ran through the streets waving flags and indulging in a general patriotic fever. They sang songs English tourists at the romantic Rhine scenery had adored for a long time, songs which spoke of German love for their country, a love thought to be deeply rooted in the image of the simple and prosaic German peasant, as well as in the courtly prince. Yet, in August 1914, Lady Jephson could not take any more of it; the impact of the supposedly traditional and historic love of the Germans for their country was too close to the present and was actually shaping the near future. ‘Church bells chime and children sing Deutschland über Alles (Germany before anything) ad nauseam. I am so sick of Heil Dir im Sieger Kranz (Bless You in the Victor’s Crown) that as the children pass by shouting it or Was ist des Deutschen Vaterland? (What is the German’s Fatherland?) I go out on my balcony and retaliate singing Rule Britannia’ (Jephson 1915: 32).
Assent and Dissent in U.S. Culture, 1830-1940
Travel accounts invariably juxtapose the country visited, the cultural practices of its inhabitants and its sites and institutions with the corresponding phenomena in the country of origin. This frequently gives rise to, or reflects, ethical dilemmas since the process of cross-cultural representation involved naturally prompts an assessment of the cultural assets and the liabilities of the country of origin. The following article concerns itself with American accounts of travels to the ‘Old World’, especially to Germany and other parts of Central Europe, with reflections on United States society as a result of the encounter with the ‘Fatherland’ or certain aspects of other national cultures in Europe. This article sheds light on the significance of Germany to American travellers and its importance for the cultural debate in the United States. It examines the increasing attention paid to Germany because of its rise to a cultural centre in Europe. It also takes into consideration the ever growing number of immigrants to the United States from Germany and deals with the complex differentiation between German-speaking people. It further notes the awareness of American observers of the denominational divide between predominantly Protestant northern Germany and its Catholic south, which until the Great War included the German-speaking parts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The various subregions of Germany elicited different reactions from the visitors depending on their own religion and cultural background. The study also pays special attention to American travellers from the Southern States, whose well-documented reactions to their European journeys deserve special consideration as they have been less frequently analyzed than those of their Northern compatriots.
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.
James Henry Dorugu's Nineteenth-Century European Travel Account
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.
Traveling among the Dead in The Rings of Saturn
W.G. Sebald's The Rings of Saturn ( 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?
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.
This article is an interweaving of three strands: an account by Imre Kertesz of his experiences in Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War, which he published as the novel, Fateless; an account of a walking tour in Suffolk that the German Anglophile, W. G. Sebald, published as the travelogue, The Rings of Saturn; and my own account of visiting the Auschwitz memorial site, which has been constructed on the edge of the Polish city still bearing the same name. Linking the three strands is the issue of the phenomenology of walking: the consciousness that is capacitated by this activity and the accompanying power to interpret one's life and surroundings in imaginative ways. Kertesz would walk the Nazi lager without stopping for death; Sebald would walk the Suffolk landscape without admitting the passage of time; I would walk Auschwitz without falling victim to the systemic constructions of others. For all, the physical activity is linked to becoming conscious of certain symbolic patterns in time and space. Walking, this article concludes, entails both a phenomenological objectivity, which may be appreciated by virtue of a common human embodiment, and a phenomenological subjectivity: an individual consciousness engaging in imaginative projects of disembodiment and otherness.
Confounded, Discomposed, Recomposed
This special issue of Journeys brings together writers whose origins and research expeditions lie in different parts of the world (United Kingdom, Germany, India, Africa, Japan and the Caribbean) to explore the relationship between different kinds of movement (walking, voyaging, bus-tours, animal-tracking) and the accompanying transformations in body and perception that emerge when journeying near and far from home. Journeys are indelibly associated with movement through lands and across seas, but like songs and stories, they also are works of composition, sometimes carefully crafted, other times improvised, often unique, and frequently unfinished. Although a journey, like any other work of composition, unfolds over time and can be thought to have a narrative structure of beginning, middle, and end, it is likely to contain many unstructured moments: unexpected detours, various contingencies and chance encounters, moments of social and cultural disorientation, and unresolved questions that are neither planned nor initiated by the author. Journeys, therefore, can often take us into strange “inner” places. Perhaps then we might say that journeys involve a process of discomposition, an unravelling and disordering of habitual thoughts, perceptions, feelings, and normative presuppositions, which are made explicit in the face of new lands and may become temporarily reconstituted amid the diversity of people one encounters there.
How British Travel Writers Presented the Carpathians, 1862-1912
Thus responded Lion Phillimore to the English landscape, on a train to Folkstone in the summer of 1912. Phillimore was headed for Cracow, and a tour of the Carpathians, a mountain range that encompassed what was then Austrian Poland (including the regions of Galicia, Ruthenia and Moravia) and parts of Hungary and Romania. Her and her husband’s insistence on sleeping rough and travelling with only a horse and cart and a teenage guide may have perplexed the locals, much to the Phillimores’ delight, but the novelty would have been far less to the British public who would read her account of the tour. In the Carpathians has many of the hallmarks of the twentieth-century genre of travel writing identified by Paul Fussell (1981: 209–211) and Mark Cocker (1992: 157–9). Phillimore journeys eastwards on European rails to escape encroaching modernity, to shake off the ‘industrialism’ that plagues her vision every time she looks out of the train window right through Germany into Poland; her destination ‘the last capital in Europe untouched by civilisation and in which the glamour of the Middle Ages still lingered’ (Phillimore 1912: 12).