Special Issue of Dapim - "The Final Stage of the Holocaust"
Call for Papers Date:
Call for Articles
Special issue of the journal Dapim – Studies on the Holocaust (November 2015)
The Final Stage of the Holocaust:
The Nazi Camp System, Collapse of the Third Reich, and Return of Jews to Germany, 1944-1945
As the Allies advanced on Germany in the autumn of 1944, the SS carried out a comprehensive reorganization of the concentration and slave labor camps under its jurisdiction. Between September 1944 and May 1944, camps were evacuated and prisoners killed en masse or relocated to Germany in “death marches.” This transfer of prisoners brought the mass murder of European Jews into the center of the Reich. Concentration camps on German soil such as Mauthausen, Ravensbrück, and Sachsenhausen had not previously figured in the “Final Solution,” but in the war’s “final stage” those camps became killing centers. It was there where the iconic photographs of piles of corpses and emaciated Jewish prisoners were taken in the months before the collapse of the Third Reich. After May 1945, deported Jews who had survived this horrific end phase became Displaced Persons. Their presence was to have a decisive influence on postwar Germany and developing attitudes toward Jews and Nazism. Although the events of the final months of the war played a crucial part in the Holocaust and how it has been remembered, scholars have only recently begun to give attention to this period.
The goal of the forthcoming special issue of Dapim is to define the “final stage” of the war and to analyze its importance in the Holocaust. Was the “final stage” a distinct and identifiable period in the unfolding of Nazi policies against the Jews? What characterized the suffering of Jews and other victims of the Nazis in this period and which parameters affected their fates? What were the continuities and transformations that featured in this “final stage” regarding the Nazi (anti-)Jewish policy?
Possible topics might include (but are not limited to) the following:
How do the final months of the war fit in the history of the Holocaust? Did this period see “the final drive toward the complete extermination of the European Jews,” as Saul Friedländer has argued?
How should the “final stage” of the Nazi camp system and of the Third Reich in general be classified in terms of space and time?
How did social and economic change in the Reich influence the situation of the Jews in the last months of the war? How did German social behavior and responses to factors such as peer pressure and the omnipresence of violence affect the treatment of concentration camp prisoners and slave laborers?
What structural and personnel changes occurred in the apparatus of Nazi terror during the final stage?
What role did racism and ideology play in this period? Can we define a disintegration of the racial basis or a final radicalization of the Nazi regime?
Did the operational framework of state agencies and party organizations undergo transformation in the final stage of the war? How was interdepartmental cooperation affected by the changing situation? What scope was there for individual action or initiative within the administrative apparatus?
What new research, findings, and sources have been discovered recently?
What was the relationship between the types of violence directed against Jews and the places of Jewish death in this period (trains, “death marches,” camps, in public)?
Which perceptions and emotions (fear, shame, hope, etc.) motivated Germans’ attitudes toward Jews in the war’s last months?
How did Germans respond to the “return” of the Jews?
Memories of the end – by Jews, Germans, and foreign laborers.
Did the country of origin affect the experiences of the persecuted during this time period?
The special issue aims to include new research on the institutions and actors involved in the final stage. We invite discussions of its temporal and spatial boundaries and the variety of experiences and perceptions in this period. All disciplinary approaches and methodologies are welcome.
Please submit a one-page abstract and a short bio with institutional affiliation in one file to Stefan Hördler (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Kobi Kabalek (email@example.com) by October 1, 2014. The abstract must provide a short description of the proposed topic, the new material and findings it presents, and the article’s relevance for the special issue.
If accepted, the scholars will be asked to submit their articles (7,000-10,000 words) in English by March 1, 2015. The articles will then undergo the usual review process and sent to two external readers.
For more information on Dapim please visit our website:
Please submit a one-page abstract and a short bio with institutional affiliation in one file to Stefan Hördler (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Kobi Kabalek (email@example.com) by October 1, 2014. The abstract must provide a short description of the proposed topic, the new material and findings it presents, and the article’s relevance for the special issue. Visit the website at http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rdap20/current#.U-T_eYCSxuA
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