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Hitler's GeographiesThe Spatialities of the Third Reich$
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Paolo Giaccaria and Claudio Minca

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226274423

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226274560.001.0001

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A Mobile Holocaust? Rethinking Testimony with Cultural Geography

A Mobile Holocaust? Rethinking Testimony with Cultural Geography

(p.329) 16 A Mobile Holocaust? Rethinking Testimony with Cultural Geography
Hitler's Geographies

Simone Gigliotti

University of Chicago Press

From studies that analyze Nazi colonial imaginaries and imperial ambitions to new analytical methods of GIScience that bring enhanced clarity to understandings of Nazi ghettoization policy, the interpretation of the Holocaust is gradually being expanded from its chronological ordering through new spatio-temporal approaches that prioritize scale, landscape, site and fluidity. This chapter adds another dimension to the spatial turn through analyzing women’s mobility experiences during the Holocaust, focusing on movements to and from Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp through deportation and evacuations between 1941 and 1945. It does not offer a regional analysis of deportation experiences or analysis of departure narratives from Auschwitz and its sub camps. Rather, it draws on women who were captive to such movements, and who immediately after the war, or more recently, provided detailed landscape and emotional content about their movements in interviews, depositions, or memoirs. It then applies insights from cultural and humanistic geography to question the dominance of fixed sites of ghettos and camps as explanatory paradigms from which to interpret victimization. Finally, it interprets the Holocaust as a fluid world of accrued displacement experiences in which forced movement, immobility, and journeying between ghettos and camps constitute an unsettling and problematically invisible “site” in historiography.

Keywords:   mobility, space, testimony, emotion, women

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