Mittelbau-Dora: American and German Representations of a Nazi Concentration Camp

Literature, Visual Media and the Culture of Memory from 1945 to the Present

In 1945, U.S. Americans liberated the Nazi concentration camp complex of »Mittelbau-Dora«, and retrieved tons of intact rocket technology from the nearby »Mittelwerke« factory. Today, an astounding mix of first-hand memoirs, biographies and false survivor tales, novels and theater plays, Hollywood movies and newsreel footage testify to the role the U.S.A. have played with regard to »Mittelbau-Dora«, and vice versa. This book provides the first comprehensive analysis of these textual and visual representations, and juxtaposes them to publications by German eyewitnesses, local researchers and academic historians, and experts in cultural memory.

19,80 € *

27. November 2009, 184 Seiten
ISBN: 978-3-8376-1357-5

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* = Preise inkl. Mehrwertsteuer. Deutschsprachige Bücher = gebundener Ladenpreis, fremdsprachige Bücher = unverbindliche Preisempfehlung. Versandkostenfreie Lieferung innerhalb Deutschlands, für Ausnahmen siehe Details.


Bruno Arich-Gerz

Bruno Arich-Gerz, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Deutschland

... with Bruno Arich-Gerz

1. »Bücher, die die Welt nicht braucht.« Warum trifft das auf Ihr Buch nicht zu?

Rather than proposing why this is not a book the world can do without, I may suggest that there are at times worlds that books don't need. The past world of the Nazi concentration camps, the ›univers concentrationnaire‹ as David Rousset calls it, was one of them. Since these ›Konzentrationslagerwelten‹ have existed after all, books seem to me indispensable both for their first-hand representation and their second-hand and more detached, scientific analysis. And any book on Dachau, Buchenwald, Auschwitz - even one on a smaller and less widely known compound of camps like the Mittelbau-Dora ones - should therefore be ›useful‹.

2. Welche neuen Perspektiven eröffnet Ihr Buch?

It takes a new stand in the debates about whether or not it is correct, these days, to address the German Nazi past through the prism of its Americanization, especially as far as the ways of commemorating the thousands of dead are concerned. And I guess it champions the cause of micro-analyses, opposing as it does the all too generalizing assumptions circulating in today memory cultural studies.

3. Welche Bedeutung kommt dem Thema in den aktuellen Forschungsdebatten zu?

I think that the interpretations and close readings provided in the book try to refrain from all too easy and one-to-one applications of existing models. Instead, they highlight the interstices and ›betweens of literary, historiographical, ›trauma‹ and cultural theories. Apart from this, the book may help to shed a different disciplinary perspective on the topic of a past referent from the era of Nazism: another, that is, from the historiographical or first-hand memorizing ones.

4. Mit wem würden Sie Ihr Buch am liebsten diskutieren?

Certainly with Aleida Assmann, whom I criticize for her sometimes all too generalizing approach to what she is famous for: memory cultural theory made in (or re-imported to) Germany. And certainly with the young folks belonging to the Jugend für Dora association, the grassroot organization of teens and twens whose explicit aim is the preservation of the memory in times of disappearing ›living recollection‹ of the murderous living conditions in the camps.

5. Ihr Buch in einem Satz:

A comprehensive survey of U.S. and German representations of the Mittelbau-Dora Nazi concentration camps, undertaken from a cultural, media and literary studies perspective.

»Arich-Gerz plädiert für fallspezifische Behandlungen und legt diese aus kultur-, medien- und literaturwissenschaftlicher Perspektive auch vor.«
Jürgen Schuhladen-Krämer, Das Historisch-Politische Buch, 12 (2010)
Bruno Arich-Gerz
Mittelbau-Dora: American and German Representations of a Nazi Concentration Camp Literature, Visual Media and the Culture of Memory from 1945 to the Present
transcript Verlag
kart., Klebebindung, 3 SW-Abbildungen
LIT000000 PER004030 SOC022000
27. November 2009
Amerika, Erinnerungskultur, Film, Literatur
Literary Studies, American Studies, Cultural Studies, Holocaust Studies
Mittelbau-Dora, American Studies, Cultural Memory, Concentration Camp, Nazism, Literature, Film, Memory Culture, General Literature Studies, Cultural History, Literary Studies

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