Holocaust Geographies

Publication: Geographies of the Holocaust

Title: Geographies of the Holocaust (hardcover)
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Publisher: Guwuw sjh asjhkfasg (Month Year)
Language: English
ISBN: 1234567890
Dimensions: 10 x 10 inches
Link to Publisher/Purchase Website


Example: The bizarre and fantastic paintings of the Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch have puzzled and intrigued their viewers for centuries. Following years of research which have taken her to every corner of Europe, Lynda Harris offers surprising new insights into Bosch's detailed and cryptic visual fantasies. Drawing on a wide variety of new sources, she deciphers Bosch's symbolism as the hidden expression of his heretical religious beliefs. She argues that Bosch belonged to the Cathar faith, a Manichean religious heresy which was persecuted and driven underground by the Church in the Middle Ages. This fabulously illustrated study reveals that while Bosch was carrying out commissions for his wealthy Catholic patrons, he was all the while coding his own inner heretical convictions in the hidden meanings of his paintings, as a record for posterity of the beliefs of his threatened religious sect.

Chapter Descriptions

Chapter 1: Geographies of the Holocaust

Authors: Alberto Giordano, Anne Kelly Knowles, and Tim Cole

Chapter 1 introduces the scope and ambition of the book through a manifesto of sorts for studying the Holocaust from a geographical perspective. Alongside introducing and situating the six case studies that form the main body of the book, the chapter probes the kinds of broad geographical questions that the Holocaust raises and how a geographical approach relates to existing scholarship in Holocaust Studies, historical geography, and GIScience.

Chapter 2: Exploring the Spatio-Temporal Structure of Concentration Camps

Authors: Anne Kelly Knowles, Paul B. Jaskot, and Alexander Yule, with Toral Patel, Charlie Hofmann, Rosalind Vara, and Ben Blackshear

Chapter 2 approaches the Holocaust at the continental scale, asking how the early concentration camps and the SS camp system developed over space and time, with a special focus on the emergence of labor camps during the last two years of World War II. This study is based on a dataset of SS camps developed by researchers in the Registry of Survivors (Holocaust Victims and Survivors Resource Center) at the USHMM for use in making maps for the first volume of the Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933 – 1945 (2008). The key methods here are thematic mapping of data explored through animated cartography and the visual overlay of related themes, specifically examining the relationship between camp construction, territorial boundary changes, and the explosive growth of labor camps in the last 18 months of the war.

Chapter 3: Spatial Aspects of the Holocaust in Italy

Authors: Alberto Giordano and Anna Holian

Chapter 3 moves to the regional scale of Italy in examining the spatio-temporal patterns of arrest, transportation, and ultimately deportation of Jews from Italy to Auschwitz. The authors spatially analyze a database of over 9,000 individual arrests that were painstakingly compiled and published in Italy; this is the first geographical analysis of that compilation in the historiography of the Holocaust in Italy and the first quantitative study of the geography of the Holocaust in one country. Among other things, the analysis reveals significant regional differences in the patterns of arrest in places and at times where police actions were chiefly under German versus Italian control. It also shows how patterns of arrest varied by gender and age over space and time, thus arguing for the importance of geography in understanding and explaining victims’ experience.

Chapter 4: Killing on the Ground and in the Mind: The Spatialities of Genocide in Belarus

Author: Waitman Beorn

Chapter 4 asks how a geographical approach might shed new light on Wehrmacht atrocities in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union in 1941. The answer comes from a combination of methods applied at the sub-regional scale of military actions in Belarus and the local scale of targeted communities. Mapping the location of Wehrmacht actions against civilian populations indicates that road networks and the spatial constraints of military logistics made some places more vulnerable than others. Using field work at known killing sites to study individuals’ testimony in situ leads to suggestive correlations between where a soldier physically stood and his moral position as a participant in genocide.

Chapter 5: Bringing the Ghetto to the Jew: The Shifting Geography of the Budapest Ghetto

Authors: Tim Cole and Alberto Giordano

Chapter 5 steps down to the scale of the city, with a detailed examination of the shifting landscape of ghettoization in Budapest from May to November 1944. For this case study, the authors constructed a new historical GIS database that located thousands of Jewish residences according to their street address, a process that included translating textual records into digital map layers as well as verifying addresses through field work in the city. A variety of spatial analytical techniques suggest the extent to which changes in ghettoization actually affected the everyday lives of Jews and non-Jews, ultimately moving to the level of interaction on city streets during the hours when Jews were allowed to leave their homes. Network analysis reveals the degrees of deprivation and hardship likely suffered by Jews depending upon where they lived in the city.

Chapter 6: Auschwitz as a City: The Imagined and Built Environment of the Camp

Authors: Paul Jaskot, Anne Kelly Knowles, and Chester Harvey, with Ben Blackshear

Chapter 6 takes us to Auschwitz. Here, the scale of spatial modeling and analysis comes down to individual buildings and the urban plan. A digital model of the whole built environment, including both the concentration camp and the spaces used and inhabited by the perpetrators, gives rise to a new conception of Auschwitz as a city, all of whose complex functions were part of the Nazis’ imperial, genocidal mission. Adding time to the camp model through map animation of the buildings database suggests that the construction of Birkenau and the SS environs as a may have created chaotic periods that both helped prisoners escape and made them more vulnerable.

Chapter 7: Landscapes of Experience: Representing Evacuations from Auschwitz

Authors: Simone Gigliotti, Marc Masurovsky, and Erik Steiner

Chapter 7 follows prisoners out of Auschwitz on evacuation marches that were a final, grueling test for those who had survived incarceration to January 1945. This chapter focuses on the intimate scale of individual bodies in space and time. The authors analyze experiences of Polish-Catholic and Jewish women by mapping personal testimony that narrates the routes of evacuation. They also transmute recorded memories into visual representations of emotional experience.

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Geographies of the Holocaust

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