Block seminar

Winter Semester 2021/2022

Exhibiting Histories of Violence 1939–1945

Lecturers: Prof. Dr. Raphael Gross/Dr. Raphael Utz/Dagi Knellessen (Deutsches Historisches Museum)

12.11.2021 (11.15 a.m. to 12.45 p.m.); 07.01.2022 and 14.01.2022 (9.15 a.m. to 4.45 p.m.); 21.01.2022 (11.15 a.m. to 12.45 p.m.)

Start: 12 November 2021

Venue: Dubnow Institute, Goldschmidtstr. 28, Leipzig; In-class event with digital components

Seminar Language: German

This seminar explores how to exhibit the violence and crimes enacted by Germany during World War Two. Around 230 million people lived under German occupation for six years, a time that was characterized by antisemitic and race-ideological violence perpetrated especially against the civilian population. But how should violence be displayed in an exhibition where the assumption is not that showing atrocities alone has an enlightening effect? How can historical circumstances, contemporary social structures, and the behavior of perpetrators, victims, and neighbors be incorporated? What position should be given to perpetrator accounts and objects on the one hand and witness testimonies on the other? In this seminar, we will address various forms of Nazi violence and crimes and consider which of these would be suitable for an exhibition at the Deutsches Historisches Museum (DHM). This will entail the development of specific concepts for the exhibition of the selected instances of violence.

Participation is conditional on the willingness to prepare a short presentation, for which topics will be assigned in a digital introductory session on 12.11.2021 (11.15–12.45 o’clock). Depending on the Covid measures in place at the time, the seminar is planned to take place in person in two blocks on 07.01.2022 and 14.01.2022 (9.15–16.45 o’clock each time). A digital concluding session will take place on 21.01.2022 (11.15–12.45 o’clock).



Joachim von Puttkamer/Dorothea Warneck (eds.), Exhibiting Violence. Special Issue in Przegląd Historyczny, Warszawa 2016; Christian Streit: Keine Kameraden. Die Wehrmacht und die sowjetischen Kriegsgefangenen 1941–1945, Bonn 1997; Volkhard Knigge et al. (eds.), Zwangsarbeit. Die Deutschen, die Zwangsarbeiter und der Krieg, Weimar 2010; Jochen Böhler/Stephan Lehnstaedt (eds.), Gewalt und Alltag im besetzten Polen 1939-1945, Osnabrück 2012; Jörg Ganzenmüller/Raphael Utz (eds.), Orte der Shoah in Polen. Gedenkstätten zwischen Mahnmal und Museum, Köln/Weimar/Wien 2016.

Participation is limited to 15 people. 

Open to mature students: no