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Memorial Projects as Sites of Social Integration in Post-1989 Berlin?

Jennifer A. Jordan

How do groups of people produce particular markers of the past in the urban landscape? The terrain of markers in a given neighborhood, city, or country can result from the top-down vision of a centralized elite-or the relatively diverse, even contradictory, layers of multiple eras and multiple interest groups and actors. In post 1989 Berlin, the memorial landscape is a heterogeneous collection of statues, plaques, and conceptual memorial projects relating to various eras in the city?s nearly eight centuries of existence. More widely known sites may be created in somewhat top-down ways, and be the responsibility of federal and state officials. But, much memorial work happens at the district level, and in the hands of an array of local activists. This local responsibility clearly indicates the active involvement of both easterners and westerners in local democratic and civic processes in general, and in activities that shape the memorial terrain in particular. Despite the inequality of unification and the extensive institutional transfer that happened in many sectors of the political and economic arenas, many eastern Berliners play active roles in the civic life in general and memorial culture in particular of their neighborhoods and districts. These local practices result from the civic participation (and arguably social integration) of a range of Berlin?s residents, in both the eastern and western halves of the city.

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Memorial

Allan Mitchell, 1933—2016

Volker Berghahn

-President Obama’s efforts to help the underprivileged and uninsured were under siege. This being a Memorial written for an academic journal, Allan’s personal and family life can only be mentioned in passing. But it should not be forgotten that, after his marriage

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Introduction to the 40th Anniversary of the Czech Scrolls

Evelyn Friedlander

The following two essays by Jeremy Adler and Pavel Seifter were given as addresses at the Conference which celebrated the 40th anniversary of the arrival in London of one thousand, five hundred and sixty-four scrolls from Czechoslovakia, where they came into the care of the Memorial Scrolls Trust. Having been ordered to be sent to the Jewish Museum in Prague, the Scrolls which derived from more than one hundred synagogues in Bohemia and Moravia, survived the war and eventually came to be housed under the auspices of the Trust in Westminster Synagogue in London.

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Holocaust Memory Memorials and the Visual Arts in the Netherlands

From Early Public Monuments to Contemporary Artists

Joël J. Cahen

Introduction As a second-generation survivor born in 1948, I have seen the changing importance of memorials and commemorations of the Holocaust in the Netherlands over time. I grew up in Vught as one of three children of Holocaust survivors

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Black Lives Matter, a Princess from Zanzibar, Bismarck, and German Memorial Hygiene

Klaus Neumann

-fiction and fiction featuring her, and attempts to memorialize her have again drawn attention to her life. Ruete's 1886 memoir was reissued in 1989, accompanied by an editorial essay that contextualizes her text; was republished by different publishers in 1998

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(Extra)ordinary Life: The Rhetoric of Representing the Socialist Everyday After Unification

Sara Jones

This article investigates the politics of representing everyday life (Alltag) in the German Democratic Republic in state-mandated museums and memorials in the contemporary Federal Republic. Through an analysis of advertising material, exhibits, and visitor surveys, it considers how managers of “auratic” sites have responded to the challenge posed by interpretations of the East German state that resist the focus on repression, as well as the impact of this response on different visitor groups. The discussion focuses on two established sites—Gedenkstätte Hohenschönhausen and Forschungs- und Gedenkstätte Normannenstraße—as well as the exhibition in the Tränenpalast in Berlin, opened in September 2011. It argues that state-supported sites frequently seek to contain memories of Alltag by reinterpreting the term to mean the extraordinary experiences of ordinary people. Nonetheless, overly didactic interpretations that leave little space for individual meaning-making risk disinheriting those whose memories are based on social and economic security, rather than state violence. The article argues that there is a tension in these museums and memorials between a desire to present a singular view of the East German state as the second German dictatorship and the recognition that the “active visitor” brings his or her own experiences, interests and memories to public history sites.

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George L. Mosse Memorial Symposium

Phyllis Cohen Albert and Alex Sagan

George L. Mosse died on January 22, 1999, leaving a legacy of scholarly innovation in the study of European, German, and German-Jewish history. The memorial symposium of October 1, 1999 that produced the following articles brought together some of the many students, colleagues, and friends who were deeply influenced by Mosse’s life and work. They offered reflections on his contributions as researcher, author, teacher, and friend.

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Jews and Other Others at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin

Irit Dekel

Is the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin a Jewish space? How are Jews presented there? What are the points of interest about Jews in the memorial from the perspective of the foundation that runs it as well as from various visitors' perspectives? This article focuses on interaction and performance at the memorial, an understudied topic in comparison to what the memorial presents in its installation and the debates that preceded its realisation. I argue that the memorial's form and location create interpretation strategies that are based on the dialectics of representation and non-representation, emotional experience versus knowledge about the Holocaust. This is differently manifested in the action of various groups visiting the memorial. Interpretation strategies rest on Jews being a category of memory. In substantiating this claim, I focus on the experience of German visitors, compared to that of Jewish visitors and claim that whereas Jews' experience of the site is directly linked to sharing intimate knowledge about the Holocaust, Germans tend to talk about the site metaphorically and in emotional terms, confirming the memorial's own ontology.

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Mobile Sepulchre and Interactive Formats of Memorialization

On Funeral and Mourning Practices in Digital Art

Maja Petrović-Šteger

The practical and imaginative possibilities offered by art works and art strategies have always been interesting for anthropological research. Analyzing an artistic endeavor that understands the dead as social software, the article investigates contemporary conceptualizations of death and grieving within modern informational economies. This article ethnographically considers the etoy “Mission Eternity Project“ which, among other artforms, has created a mobile sepulchre to investigate and challenge conventional practices of the disposal of the dead and of memorialization. The article seeks to generate terms for discussing how new artistic, digital and forensic technologies can reconfigure the more ordinary ways of dealing with the dead. The analysis is significantly informed by my previous anthropological work on practices of the collection, classification and DNA analysis of dead bodies in postconflict Serbia and Tasmania.

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When Fascination Obscures Fate

Narratives of Technology vs. Forced Labor at the Bunker “Valentin”

Marcus Meyer

what to do with the structure and, ultimately, the initial impulse for the Valentin Bunker Memorial, which was finally established thirty-four years later in November 2015. Its presentation and narratives reflect the feature and the ensuing public