Divided Memory? Remembering Nazi Forced Labour in Twenty-First-Century Europe

From March 9th until 11th, 2016: the conference in the "Museum der Arbeit", Hamburg

News from Jan 28, 2016

Place: Hamburg

Venue: Museum der Arbeit, Hamburg

Organizers: Michael Wildt (Humboldt-Universität, Berlin) and Simone Erpel (Humboldt-Universität, Berlin), supported by Stiftung „Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft“ (EVZ)

Date: March 9-11, 2016

Deadline: February 24, 2016

Registration: https://www2.hu-berlin.de/forcedlabour/


More than almost any other research topic, Nazi forced labour has come to the forefront of scholarship and historical memory work in recent years. Approaches to the experience of forced labour in the memory cultures of Eastern and Western European countries have ranged from acknowledgement to silence, right up to allegations of collaboration. The conference aims to illuminate these perspectives on memory in all their multiplicity and diversity, but also show their national limitations. Furthermore, the conference will focus on the various forms of forced labour and the different groups of forced labourers.
At the same time that very diversity offers points of reference to rethink collective experiences of forced labour within a European experiential space, transcending specific national views. We might call it, following Étienne François, a ‘European site of memory’ that is simultaneously common and divided: a nexus of different collective experiences within a history that is nevertheless shared. In terms of the resulting diverse and often also divergent interpretations of the common past, we wish to highlight not so much what separates them as what links them together.

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