Wednesday 18 March 2020
11.00 - 13.00
Jewish Europe in Twentieth Century
P.N. van Eyckhof 2, 004
Waitman Beorn :
Mapping the Holocaust Qualitatively
This paper will explore the methodological and theoretical challenges and benefits of adopting a spatial approach to pairing testimony with location to qualitatively map the experience of the Holocaust. The center of the case study will be my work on the Janowska concentration camp in Lviv, Ukraine. I employ ... (Show more)
This paper will explore the methodological and theoretical challenges and benefits of adopting a spatial approach to pairing testimony with location to qualitatively map the experience of the Holocaust. The center of the case study will be my work on the Janowska concentration camp in Lviv, Ukraine. I employ techniques such as digital mapping, 3D modeling, and social network analysis to return experience to the locations where it took place and to explore how this approach can complement more traditional methodologies for the writing of history. (Show less)
Maja Hultman :
From Marginalisation to Multiplicity: Stockholm’s Jewry before 1939
Historiography has cemented the spatiality of Stockholm’s Jewish population into hierarchal, binary identities, divided between rich and poor, German and Eastern European, northern and southern, Reform Judaism and Orthodox Judaism. Proving this oversimplified image to be a literary construction by contemporary religious leaders, this paper ventures into the spatial reality ... (Show more)
Historiography has cemented the spatiality of Stockholm’s Jewish population into hierarchal, binary identities, divided between rich and poor, German and Eastern European, northern and southern, Reform Judaism and Orthodox Judaism. Proving this oversimplified image to be a literary construction by contemporary religious leaders, this paper ventures into the spatial reality of the urban minority, using GIS to find diversity among the approximately 7,000 Swedish Jews.
The paper aims to provide a voice for Jewish individuals twice marginalised in European-Jewish historiography. Due to material difficulties, historians have largely ignored Stockholm’s Eastern European and/or orthodox communities. Using the methodologies of building biography, oral history and GIS, I can, however, bring the plurality and individuality of this group into light. Locating various orthodox minyanim and religious schools across the map of Stockholm, I find inner-communal discussions on their construction and continued existence. Interviews emphasise the importance of individual ideals and choices in what sacred places to attend. GIS mapping contradict previous historians’ assumptions on the identifications of the orthodox Jew.
I will particularly emphasise the GIS mapping of orthodox members in this paper. Using a membership list from the personal archive of the orthodox synagogue Adat Jisrael’s chairman Jacob Ettlinger, and local taxation records, I can for the first time portray the orthodox community’s spatial relationship with the urban landscape. Contrary to previous scholar’s prediction mention above, these members were scattered all over Stockholm, portraying a Jewish orthodox demography that was individualised, with spatial and economic varieties.
Presenting case studies from my doctoral thesis, this paper sheds new light on the multiplicity that could and did exist within a small Jewish population. The interdisciplinary and digital approach allows the marginalised Jewish minority, and the twice marginalised Eastern European and/or orthodox community, to become the centre of the study, retelling their everyday life in the Swedish urban landscape. (Show less)
Wolfgang Schellenbacher :
From Online Tool to Research Tool: Digital Representation of Mapped Holocaust Data
In recent years, the role of historians and archivists in historical research in general – and Holocaust Studies in particular – has undergone a digital transition in the production of knowledge. New digital tools and methods of analysis are being used by research institutions to extend their societal outreach and ... (Show more)
In recent years, the role of historians and archivists in historical research in general – and Holocaust Studies in particular – has undergone a digital transition in the production of knowledge. New digital tools and methods of analysis are being used by research institutions to extend their societal outreach and have led to new research questions that facilitate a deeper understanding of the Holocaust.
Memento Vienna serves as an example of an online tool, optimised for tablets and smartphones, that offers information about the victims of the Nazi regime in Vienna. Using a map of the city, the mobile website makes the last-known addresses of Holocaust victims visible and displays relevant archival documents, including photos of people and buildings. Users have the opportunity to interact with the history of their surroundings and learn more about the fate of those who were persecuted. In this way, the exclusion, deportation and murder of Austrian Jews is made visible virtually by combining different datasets on Holocaust victims and digital collections with geo-references. The ongoing project launched in 2016, has been expanded in a second project phase over the last year and currently contains Holocaust-related archival material and information about more than 51,000 victims of the Nazi Regime in Vienna.
While the focus of such a digital tool lies in presenting information and archival material in new ways to broader audiences and for use in Holocaust education, the tool and the visualisation of Holocaust-related spatial data it facilitates can also be an important source for historical analysis. The field of spatial studies in Holocaust in recent years has shown how using space and place while not eschewing chronology provides a framework for exploring new views on the Holocaust.
Digital representations of the newly mapped data underpinning Memento Vienna offer for the first time the opportunity for a detailed analysis of the relocation policy affecting Jews prior to deportation. In particular, comparing the addresses of Viennese Jews in 1938 with their last addresses before deportation has enhanced understanding of the spatial dimension of the Holocaust in Vienna by showing the “ghettoization” of Jews into ever-tighter living areas before their deportation and murder.
Memento Vienna is not only an example of new practical applications aimed at a younger generation for compiling and presenting data about the Holocaust. The representation of the data of Memento Vienna also serves as a research tool, offering historians new opportunities to interpret and analyse Holocaust-related data in the digital age. (Show less)
Gerben Zaagsma :
Mapping Wartime Jewish Diaries and their Postwar Trajectories
If Auschwitz has become the key symbol of the Holocaust, then the fate of Anne Frank and her family has become symbolic of Jewish wartime experiences in Nazi-occupied Europe, and Anne’s diaries of Jewish diary writing. As such they are constitutive of people’s ideas about the Holocaust and the Jewish ... (Show more)
If Auschwitz has become the key symbol of the Holocaust, then the fate of Anne Frank and her family has become symbolic of Jewish wartime experiences in Nazi-occupied Europe, and Anne’s diaries of Jewish diary writing. As such they are constitutive of people’s ideas about the Holocaust and the Jewish experience during World War II. Indeed, the Anne Frank diaries are intrinsic to the development of postwar Holocaust memory. Yet we know that the case of Anne Frank was far from representative, and insofar as scholars strive to recover the full range of Jewish wartime experiences, as filtered through autobiographical texts, this situation is obviously problematic. In contrast to Anne Frank and her diary, the ‘context of textual production’ (Garbarini 2014) for any Jew writing in Eastern Europe, in the very centre of the killings, could not be more different. As a result diary writing here diferred starkly in terms of both content and intent. This is particularly true for Yiddish diaries, which reflect the experiences of the poorest Jews in Eastern Europe.
This paper focuses on wartime Jewish diaries from Poland. It is based mostly upon the collection of diaries from the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, 75% of which are written in Polish and around 20% in Yiddish. Importantly, the collection’s inventory indicates both the locations were the writer is known to have been, as well as those locations which are mentioned in the diary, which of course do not necessarily overlap. As a result the collection’s metadata allow us to map several things: the spatio-linguistic distribution of wartime diaries and the areas covered by them; and the spread of news, as reflected by the locations covered by the diaries’ contents.
Moreover, in addition to enabling the analysis of a wealth of contextual information, the inventory also lists known translation and/or publication data for each diary. As a result, we can get a glimpse in their postwar trajectories and analyse which diaries were published, where and at what time, and in which translations. This, in turn, can tell us much about the relation between translation and Holocaust memory since, as Naomi Seidman has argued (2006), “the canon of Holocaust literature should be read as the rewriting of this historical event for new audiences”. A final step would be to embed information from the diaries’ themselves, and the actual experiences that are conveyed, into the maps, thus creating a deep map which combines more factual information about the diaries with the subjective lived experiences contained within them.
The project seeks to contribute to a more balanced understanding of wartime Jewish diaries and writing during WWII in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe, though the prism of a specific collection. The broader aim of the paper is to provide an example of the type of new spatio-temporal insights that can be gleaned from collections’ metadata, in addition to ‘traditional’ textual content analysis. The project uses Nodegoat (nodegoat.net) as a way to manage, explore and visualise the data. (Show less)