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About the Conference

The National Socialist rule is viewed transnationally as an European occupation regime that not only shaped Europe violently, but also permanently reshaped societies in the occupied countries. Precisely because of these unifying elements of the culture of remembrance and because right-wing populist currents are currently gaining support in Europe, threatening the relativization or even denial of National Socialist crimes in many places, it is essential to maintain and even strengthen the memory of war, genocide and mass violence.

National Socialist memorials are facing fundamental changes, not least due to digitalization. In a world with previously unimagined media possibilities, it is necessary to find a way that meets the media expectations and changed ways of reception of visitors and at the same time does not abandon the authenticity and complexity of the historical site in virtual space. These questions will be discussed comprehensively and sustainably at the digital International Conference on the History and Memory of the National Socialist Concentration Camps from May 18 – 21, 2021. The focus will be on the categories of space, transfer and transnationality.

The Working Group of Concentration Camp Memorials is organizing this conference together with the Humboldt University of Berlin in order to particularly emphasize the necessity of the close connection between memorial sites and university research. The Federal Agency for Civic Education is a cooperation partner. On the one hand, it is planned to take stock of the research achievements on the topic of “concentration camps” in recent years. On the other hand, it is also important to present analytical tools from neighboring disciplines that have been little tested so far and to exchange ideas with experts about new perspectives and changing fields of activity. For colleagues from memorial sites as well as from universities, the conference offers an outstanding opportunity to discuss the balance and perspectives of remembrance culture with reference to National Socialist mass crimes on an international level.

The target group is staff of memorial sites and documentation and information institutions, memorial site initiatives, teachers, historians, multipliers from school and extracurricular political education, universities, art, culture and media, scientists, publicists, students.

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