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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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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 25 October 2020

What Remains? Sites of Deportation in Contemporary European Daily Life: The Case of Drancy

What Remains? Sites of Deportation in Contemporary European Daily Life: The Case of Drancy

Chapter:
(p.348) 17 What Remains? Sites of Deportation in Contemporary European Daily Life: The Case of Drancy
Source:
Hitler's Geographies
Author(s):

Katherine Fleming

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226274560.003.0018

In 2009, construction workers renovating buildings at Drancy, the French deportation camp from which more than 60,000 Jews were sent to their deaths, discovered a large cache of graffiti, hitherto unseen, hiding on the buildings' walls underneath layers of drywall and other coverings. The camp at Drancy was first designed as a modernist experiment in urban living; a block of residential towers and interspersed open spaces, it had only just been nearing completion when the Nazis confiscated it in 1941. The Jews who were sent there were its first, temporary residents, and spent their internment in what was in effect a construction site. Its architects had named it "La Cite de la Muette" — the Silent City — as a nod to the peaceful yet urban environment it was designed to create. The name, of course, came to have deeper signification. With the discovery some sixty years after World War II of the wrenching last messages its internees wrote upon its walls, the Silent City spoke. Suddenly it was "remembered" what it once had been. Drancy today has been restored to its original purpose and is a housing complex that encompasses a major Holocaust memorial.

Keywords:   Drancy, Holocaust sites, memory, Lieux de memoire

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