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Geographies of the Holocaust

Edited by Anne Kelly Knowles, Tim Cole, and Alberto Giordano

Publication Year: 2014

This book explores the geographies of the Holocaust at every scale of human experience, from the European continent to the experiences of individual human bodies. Built on six innovative case studies, it brings together historians, geographers, and geographic information scientists to interrogate the places and spaces of the genocide. The cases encompass the landscapes of particular places (the killing zones in the East, deportations from sites in Italy, the camps of Auschwitz, the ghettos of Budapest) and the intimate spaces of bodies on evacuation marches. Geographies of the Holocaust puts forward models and a research agenda for different ways of visualizing and thinking about the Holocaust by examining the spaces and places where it was enacted and experienced.

Published by: Indiana University Press

Series: The Spatial Humanities


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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

We owe much to a number of people at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, particularly Robert Ehrenreich, Director of University Programs, and Michael Haley Goldman, Director of Global Classroom and Evaluation. Center staff facilitated our meetings at the Museum – starting...

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1. Geographies of the Holocaust

Alberto Giordano, Anne Kelly Knowles, and Tim Cole

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pp. 1-18

The Holocaust destroyed communities, displaced millions of people from their homes, and created new kinds of places where prisoners were concentrated, exploited as labor, and put to death in service of the Third Reich’s goal to create a racially pure German empire. We see the Holocaust as a profoundly geographical phenomenon, though few scholars have analyzed it from that...

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2. Mapping the SS Concentration Camps

Anne Kelly Knowles, and Paul B. Jaskot, with Benjamin Perry Blackshear, Michael De Groot, and Alexander Yule

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pp. 19-52

Concentration camps are among the most familiar and haunting places of the Holocaust. Two perspectives have come to dominate our view of the camps. The most powerful and most meaningful for many people is the perspective of victims, which is expressed so movingly in published memoirs, such as Elie Wiesel’s...

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3. Retracing the “Hunt for Jews”: A Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Arrests during the Holocaust in Italy

Alberto Giordano and Anna Holian

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pp. 53-88

In July 1943, after a series of military defeats and amid growing domestic unrest, Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini was deposed from power and arrested. The new Italian government, headed by Marshal Pietro Badoglio, remained formally allied with the Germans, but also secretly began negotiations with the Allies, who were quickly approaching the Italian mainland from the ...

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4. Killing on the Ground and in the Mind: The Spatialities of Genocide in the East

Waitman Wade Beorn, with Anne Kelly Knowles

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pp. 89-120

In the late summer and fall of 1941, a Holocaust was taking place across the Soviet Union.1 This was not the Holocaust of popular memory. There were no gas chambers, no train journeys, no barbed wire. This was a “holocaust by bullets,” an intimate iteration of the Nazi genocidal project in which Jews were murdered at home, by killers who...

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5. Bringing the Ghetto to the Jew: Spatialities of Ghettoization in Budapest

Tim Cole and Alberto Giordano

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pp. 121-158

Budapest was one of approximately 150 towns and cities in Hungary where Jews were restricted to urban ghettos during the Holocaust.1 Elsewhere in occupied Eastern Europe, local officials created ghettos to confine and control Jewish residents or to hold Jews sent from elsewhere.2 While noting that ghettos were not implemented in all ...

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6. Visualizing the Archive: Building at Auschwitz as a Geographic Problem

Paul B. Jaskot, Anne Kelly Knowles, and Chester Harvey, with Benjamin Perry Blackshear

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pp. 159-192

The SS transformation of Oświęcim into KL Auschwitz, Auschwitz-Birkenau (Auschwitz II), and Monowitz (Auschwitz III) has a well-known history. Its roots extend back to Heinrich Himmler’s control over the prewar concentration camp system, in which he emphasized the system’s capacity to utilize forced labor simultaneous with ...

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7. From the Camp to the Road: Representing the Evacuations from Auschwitz, January 1945

Simone Gigliotti, Marc J. Masurovsky, and Erik B. Steiner

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pp. 193-226

“They did not tell us where we were going – t t hey just said to go – we saw thousands upon thousands of people – there were all these factories that surrounded Auschwitz and all these prisoners joined the march.”1 This commotion, according to Fela Finkelstein, was made all the more menacing by the guards’ threat that “anyone who does not walk, we will shoot, anyone who is weak,...

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8. Afterword

Paul B. Jaskot and Tim Cole

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pp. 227-234

This book began with the truism that the Holocaust was a fundamentally geographical event, a truism that has been acknowledged in the literature for some time but not systematically isolated and studied. The subsequent chapters have shown how profoundly a study of space can aid in our understanding of the complexity of policy decisions, the variable but brutally effective implementation...


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pp. 235-238


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pp. 239-248

E-ISBN-13: 9780253012319
E-ISBN-10: 0253012317
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253012111

Page Count: 260
Illustrations: 86 color illus., 8 tables
Publication Year: 2014

Series Title: The Spatial Humanities
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OCLC Number: 878923847
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Geographies of the Holocaust

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- History -- Case studies.
  • Historical geography -- Europe -- Case studies.
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Atrocities -- Case studies.
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