The relevance of material evidence for the historiography of the National-Socialist concentration camps and their future role in history and civics education are increasingly brought into focus. In the context of the 2019 European Summer School, the intention is for concentration camp memorial sites to look at the many aspects of material culture from the perspectives of cultural science, materials and technology studies as well as conservation research.
The programme will start with a comparison of the collecting practice applied by memorials worldwide. Topics will be time and genesis of collections, their functions, the ethical implications and the change of relevance of the objects: the artefacts kept in depots and exhibitions have morphed from mementos with memorial or evidential value into autonomous testimonials, historiographic sources and occasions for narratives of the complex history of the camps.
A second division aims to ask about the material, social and gender-history aspects of, in particular, those artefacts made by concentration camp inmates themselves. There is a need to reflect on the irritating parallelism of forced labour, violence, death and artistic practice. Concentration camp prisoners become the focus of attention as active players. Their ways of acting will be examined as well as the various social relations that emerged in the camps and took shape and form in the artefacts.
A third focus is issues of conservation and restoration. The complex groups of objects and materials, for example from armaments production, pose special challenges to conservation science. Not least, a discussion should be held on the history of restoration practices.
The Summer School is organized by Memorial Museum Ravensbrück/Brandenburg Memorials Foundation and the research project "Materials – Relationship – Gender. Artefacts from Ravensbrück and Sachsenhausen Concentration Camps” [Research in Museums/Volkswagen Foundation] in cooperation with House of the Wannsee Conference, HTW University of Applied Sciences Berlin, the German History in the 20th Century Chair at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin as well as the Center for Research on Antisemitism at Technische Universität Berlin.
This year's Summer School is sponsored by Daimler, the VolkswagenStiftung and the Federal Foreign Office.
Conference languages are German and English. Simultaneous translation will be provided.
Hannah Sprute and Nils Weigt, phone: +49 33093 608 25 / +49 33093 608 175, email@example.com
Accommodation in a shared bedroom and all meals in the nearby Youth Hostel Ravensbrück: 35 € per night, Sunday to Friday 170 €
How to get there
By train: A regional express train departs from Berlin-Hauptbahnhof (Berlin Main Station) to Fürstenberg/Havel every hour (direction Stralsund or Rostock). From the Fürstenberg train station, walk for 2 km or
take a taxi. A transfer will be organized on request.
By car: Fürstenberg is situated approximately 80 km north of Berlin on the B 96 Highway Berlin-Stralsund, in Fürstenberg please follow indications.
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