Editorial


S:I.M.O.N. is an e-journal of the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI). It appears twice a year in English and German language. S:I.M.O.N. aims at both a transnational and comparative history of the Holocaust and Jewish Studies in Central and Eastern Europe within the broader contexts of the European history of the 20th and 21st century, including its prehistory, consequences and legacies as well as the history of memory.

S:I.M.O.N. serves as a forum for discussion of various methodological approaches. The journal especially wishes to strengthen the exchange between researchers from different scientific communities and to integrate both the Jewish history and the history of the Holocaust into the different “national” narratives. It also lays a special emphasis on memory studies and the analysis of politics of memory.  S:I.M.O.N. uses a double-blind review system, which means that both the reviewer’s and the author’s identities are concealed from each other hroughout the review process.

Shoah: The journal deals with the history of the Shoah from multidisciplinary, transnational and comparative perspectives. It seeks to integrate studies on Jews as well as on other groups of victims of the Holocaust, especially on Roma, and of so far less researched regions of (East) Central and (South) Eastern Europe.

Intervention. The journal reports on research projects and their transmission into public events. It also informs about current educational and remembrance programs.

Methods. The journal serves as a forum for the discussion of methodological approaches as, for instance, the everyday history, oral history, gender history, the history of violence, anti-Semitism and racism and the theory of memory and memory politics.

DocumentatiON. The journal contributes to critical approaches on using and interpreting archival materials in the 21st century. 

Download the current issue S:I.M.O.N. 2017/1.

Articles

Download PDFThe terrible details of the tragedy of Jewry in the northern part of Transylvania, which had been annexed to Hungary after 1940, emerged even in the last months of the Second World War, when the essence and events of the genocide were known in ever wider circles. As awareness of the events first emerged, literary and artistic works were also published in Transylvania between 1945 and 1949 that depicted the cruelties of the Shoah and at the same time aimed to raise a lasting monument for the Jewish communities that had been destroyed. These early works of Holocaust remembrance made a considerable contribution to retaining the mass murder in people's consciousness and turning a young generation's awareness to the terrible heritage of Nazism later on, when, during the decades of consolidation of communism, all spheres of life were submerged in a “great silence”.

SWL-Reader

Download PDFHolocaust and Genocide Studies emerged as a new discipline during the 1990s, particularly so in the Anglo-Saxon world. This development also established a new culture of remembrance and treatment of the collective past and public apologies for historical crimes. Since then, several countries have institutionalized Holocaust memorial days and similar institutions in a range of formats, several governments have apologized for historical injustices in various manners. Yet, there remains the question of a precise definition of a genocide – and in what way the term is connected to the Holocaust, the murder of the European Jews. How are these two related? What is the social function of such official or semi-official remembrances, and what is their role in society?

In his lecture, Dirk Moses endeavoured to clarify whether the insights gained from the history of the Holocaust and other genocides in general – namely, the imperative of 'tolerance' – really does provide an adequate answer to this challenge.

Events

Duschehubka

Download PDFThis text is the penultimate chapter of Zoltán Halasi's book Út az üres éghez (Road to an Empty Sky). With this work, which was first published in Hungarian, the author created a singular memorial to Polish-Jewish culture and its destruction. Setting out from the Yiddish Holocaust poem Dos lid funm ojsgehargetn jidischen folk by Itzhak Katzenelson, Halasi records what was lost in the Shoah in the course of nineteen compelling chapters. He takes on the grab of an art historian, a literary critic and a travel guide when he reports about a wooden synagogue and the Jewish quarter in Warsaw. In the role of a German banker, he illuminates the aims of the Nazi monetary policies, as a writer of SS brochures he highlights the absurdity of racism. Depicting a Selektion in the Warsaw ghetto, he shows the grim logic of compulsive acts in catastrophic situations, draws an image of the running of the extermination camp Treblinka. The cynical words of two German policemen provide an insight into the rituals of mass executions and introduce us to the craft of murder. The final chapter is an interplay of slithers of narrative by Jewish children on the run and by those who helped and hid them that borders on the unbearable.
The chapter reproduced on the following pages has three parts: Part one is a Treblinka railway station master's report to the Polish Home Army. In the second part, a former Jewish detainee who managed to escape from the extermination camp Treblinka gives a literary treatment of his arrival at the camp. The final part consists of an inner monologue by the Treblinka extermination camp's director of administration.

The book will shortly be published in Polish at the Nisza publishing company in Warsaw. The German-speaking public was first presented with the work on December 1, 2015 at the Simon Wiesenthal Conference 2015. The German translation by Éva Zádor and Heinrich Eisterer is in progress.

Download PDFDownload PDFAm 16. April 1944 begannen die ungarischen Behörden, die bereits entrechteten Juden in Ghettos zu sperren. 437.000 Menschen wurden in 170 Ghettos zusammengepfercht, die Mehrheit wurde bis Juli 1944 nach Auschwitz deportiert und ermordet. Nach dem 15. Oktober 1944, nach der Machtübernahme der Pfeilkreuzler, wurden die Deportationen wieder aufgenommen: In den Monaten November und Dezember 1944 trieben ungarische und deutsche bewaffnete Einheiten 50.000 Zwangsarbeiter in Todesmärschen in das heutige Österreich. Die in Budapest verbliebenen Juden wurden in ein Ghetto gesperrt, Tausende erschossen. Die Überlebenden des Ghettos wurden im Jänner 1945, jene der Konzentrationslager im Mai 1945 von den Alliierten befreit.

„Nur eine Quelle …“ gedachte dieser Tragödie: Wissenschafterinnen und Wissenschafter erinnerten mit einer einzigen historischen Quelle an die Leiden der Opfer. Im Fokus standen ein Artikel, ein Objekt, ein Protokoll, ein Brief, ein Foto, eine Zeugenaussage und ein Interview. Die Vortragenden besprachen die Herkunft der Quelle sowie ihre Entstehung, wie und warum sie erhalten geblieben war, was sie uns heute erzählen kann. Welche Gesichtspunkte kann eine einzige Quelle aufwerfen? Wie kann man sie entschlüsseln, und wie wird sie Teil einer Gesamterzählung der ungarischen Shoah? Die Veranstaltung schloss mit einer kleinen Ad-hoc-Ausstellung der präsentierten Quellen und einer zweisprachigen Lesung aus Béla Zsolts Werk Neun Koffer.

  • Einleitung (Dieter Pohl)
  • Ein Artikel (Ferenc Laczó)
  • Ein Objekt (András Szécsényi)
  • Ein Protokoll (László Csősz - Regina Fritz)
  • Ein Brief (Istvan Pal Adam)
  • Eine Akkreditierung (Kinga Frojimovics)
  • Ein Foto (Zsolt K. Horváth)
  • Eine Zeugenaussage (Rita Horváth)
  • Ein Interview (Éva Kovács)

 

Durch den Abend führte Béla Rásky.