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Commemorating Hell The Public Memory of Mittelbau-Dora by Gretchen E. Schafft, Gerhard Zeidler

Commemorating Hell The Public Memory of Mittelbau-Dora



Commemorating Hell The Public Memory of Mittelbau-Dora by Gretchen E. Schafft, Gerhard Zeidler

This powerful, wide-ranging history of the Nazi concentration camp Mittelbau-Dora is the first book to analyze how memory of the Third Reich evolved throughout changes in the German regime from World War II to the present. Building on intimate knowledge of the history of the camp, where a third of the 60,000 prisoners did not survive the war, Gretchen Schafft and Gerhard Zeidler examine the political and cultural aspects of the camp's memorialization in East Germany and, after 1989, in unified Germany. Through the continuing story of Mittelbau-Dora, from its operation as a labor camp for the V-1 and V-2 rockets to its social construction as a monument, Schafft and Zeidler reflect an abiding interest in the memory and commemoration of notorious national events.


Commemorating Hell is a fascinating and unique combination of social history and cultural analysis that uses the social memory of Mittelbau-Dora to analyze the personal and social processes of coming to grips with horrific past acts. It is among the best books examining the dark history of the Dora camp. --David Price, author of Anthropological Intelligence: The Deployment and Neglect of American Anthropology in the Second World War

About the Author

Gretchen Schafft is Applied Anthropologist in Residence at American University and the author of From Racism to Genocide: Anthropology in the Third Reich.Gerhard Zeidler is a former archivist at the concentration camp memorial for Mittelbau-Dora.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st March 2011


Gretchen E. Schafft, Gerhard Zeidler

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University of Illinois Press


216 pages


Second World War
European history
20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000



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