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 PDFBoth during the Soviet era and after its collapse, there has been no room for Holocaust remembrance in Russia's collective memory; memorials and textbooks only marginally touch on the topic. In 2008, quantitative research across Russia investigated the relationship between tolerance and Holocaust knowledge within the Russian population and concluded that the majority of Russians were not aware of the Holocaust, its victims and their numbers. Considering the fact that the current territory of Russia includes at least 400 sites of perpetration of the genocide of European and Soviet Jews, these results urge the question of the causes for this suppression.

The city of Rostov-on-Don served as an example in order to address the question of how people now remember the former site of the extermination of the Jewish population. This southern Russian city became the site of a massacre in August 1942, when members of the special commando 10a, part of Einsatzgruppe D annihilated the Jewish population of the city within three days. In the context of qualitative research undertaken in Rostov, 25 narrative interviews were conducted with citizens of Rostov from a range of age groups between September and November 2011. It was the aim of the interviews to record the existing narrative and individual memories of this crime and to compare and contrast these with the official culture of remembrance.

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Until the end of 2007, the International Tracing Service (ITS) was the largest collection of inaccessible records anywhere in the world that shed light on the fates of people from across Europe – Jews as well as members of virtually every other nation or nationality – who were arrested, deported, sent to concentration camps, and even murdered by the Nazis; who were put to forced labour, calculated in many places to result in death; and who were displaced from their homes and families, and unable to return home at the war’s end. These were documents that Allied forces collected as they liberated camps and forced labour sites across Europe in the last months of the war and during their post-war occupation and administration of Germany and Austria. 

The archives of the ITS in Bad Arolsen, Germany, contains over fifty million documents produced in the Second World War era relating to the fates and destinies of over 17.5 million people. Using samples and case studies, the author, who led the campaign to open the archives, provides a view of the effort to open the collections for research and discuss the importance of this recent event for Holocaust survivors, victims of National Socialism, and scholars.

Events

Download PDFDuring the clerical-fascist Slovak State, "Tóno" Brtko, a docile and poor carpenter, is offered the possibility to 'aryanise' the small Main Street sewing accessories shop of Rozália Lautmannová. Torn between his good-natured principles and his greedy wife Evelyna, he finally agrees to take over the shop by making the deaf and senile lady believe he is her nephew arriving to help her out. Yet he then discovers that the business is bankrupt, and Ms. Lautmannová is only relying on donations from the Jewish community. While letting his wife believe he is making money from the shop, he gradually becomes a supporter of the old lady. More and more, a cordial relationship between the two evolves. When the Slovak authorities finally decide to deport the Jewish population of the small town, Tóno, in a deep conflict with himself and his values, finally opts for hiding Ms. Lautmannová – a decision which turns into tragedy. Obchod na korze won the 'Oscar' for Best Foreign Language Film in 1966. The film was presented on the occasion of a VWI-Visuals presentation on 29 January 2015 in Vienna's Admiralkino.

Regina Fritz/Éva Kovács/Béla Rásky (Hg.)

Als der Holocaust noch keinen Namen hatte.

Zur frühen Aufarbeitung des NS-Mordes an Jüdinnen und Juden

Before the Holocaust Had Its Name.

Early Confrontations of the Nazi Mass Murder of the Jews

 

In der Historiografie ging man lange davon aus, dass es bald nach 1945 zu einer unausgesprochenen Übereinkunft gekommen war, den Judenmord zu beschweigen und die Schuldfrage beiseite zu schieben. Die erst kürzlich wiederentdeckten vielfältigen, bis in die frühen 1950er-Jahre angestellten Bemühungen, die postnazistischen Gesellschaften über die Verbrechen des NS-Regimes aufzuklären und sie mit diesen zu konfrontieren, sich damit auf mannigfaltige Weisen auseinanderzusetzen, widersprechen aber dieser lange gültigen Annahme.

Die Beiträge des vorliegenden Bandes fragen nach den konkreten Maßnahmen, die es unmittelbar nach dem Schrecken des Krieges gab, das begangene Unrecht nach dem Krieg als solches anzuerkennen: Welche Versuche gab es, den Massenmord zu thematisieren, zu dokumentieren, der Opfer der NS-Vernichtungspolitik zu gedenken, Verantwortlichkeiten zu klären und die „Schuldfrage“ zu stellen? Welche politischen Interessen verbanden sich mit den Bemühungen, die Vergangenheit auszuarbeiten, wie(so) scheiterten sie und ab wann sind erste Tabuisierungstendenzen feststellbar?

Béla Rásky ist Direktor des VWI, Regina Fritz ist Projektmitarbeiterin bei der Edition „Die Verfolgung und Ermordung der europäischen Juden durch das nationalsozialistische Deutschland 1933-1945 (VEJ)“, und Eva Kovács ist wissenschaftliche Programmleiterin des Wiener Wiesenthal Instituts für Holocaust-Studien (VWI).

Wien 2016

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