SWL Readers

  • Unheimliche Heimat. Triest als Erinnerungsraum

    (Issue 2016/1)

    Download PDFDownload PDFThe region around Trieste forms a microcosm of the contradictory impulses that have defined Italian memory culture. The tension between commemoration and a rehabilitation of fascism is especially visible in two rival sites of memory: the Risiera di San Sabba, a former concentration camp, and the Foiba di Basovizza, which commemorates the victims of Yugoslav partisans. Both sites present an exculpatory version of Italian history that casts Italians as innocent victims of external aggression and glosses over the issues of collaboration and enforced Italianisation as well as the fascist policies of racial hygiene. A counterpoint to this dominant narrative may be found in the works of regional authors with Slovenian, Croatian and Jewish backgrounds. They bring repressed aspects of the region’s history and memory to recover the biographies of those who have been forgotten or excluded. Trieste is a paradigm case of „the historical uncanny“: a palimpsest of repressed memories that persistently reappear to disrupt and disturb the city and its historical self-image.

  • Völkermord und die Aufarbeitung von Vergangenheiten aus globaler Sicht

    (Issue 2014/1)

    Download PDFDownload 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.

  • Zuflucht und Utopie. Österreichisch-jüdische Emigration in die Dominikanische Republik

    (Issue 2014/2)

    Download PDFDownload PDFThe Dominican Republic is nowadays considered an ultimate holiday paradise by most Europeans. It is less known that this small state in the Antilles served as a place of refuge from Nazism for Austrian, German and Czech Jews during the Second World War. While most countries closed their borders to the flood of refugees after the 'annexation' of Austria, it was - of all places - this dictatorial Caribbean island state  that offered refuge to the persecuted. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee built an agricultural model project in Sosúa on the country's northern coast, which was modelled on Kibuzzim and was laid out for tens of thousands of refugees. However, only a few hundred reached the island; they included many Viennese.

    The history of this settlement project reveals the developmental lines of the twentieth century: the democratic states' capitulation in the face of the German anti-Jewish policies, the concept of an agricultural project based on socialist ideas and its failure and, finally, migration as a modernising catalyst.