Beyond the Holocaust Paradigm. Unearthing Europe’s Age of Terror

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic


First name :: Rob
Last name :: van der Laarse
Email address ::
Institution :: University of Amsterdam
Mailing address :: Voorhaven 43 Edam 1135 BL The Netherlands
Co-authors :: Jan Kolen
Paper title :: beyond the Holocaust Paradigm. Unearthing Europe’s Age of Terror
Abstract :: The devastating horrors of two World Wars have for the last six decades stimulated a unique process of European unification. After decades of a heroic remembrance of military occupation and resistance in most Western and Eastern European nations, war heritage and memory has almost completely been determined by the Holocaust paradigm. Yet, as I will argue, the assumption of the Holocaust as a common European experience, and hence as a basic part of Europe’s postwar identity raises some critical objections. Firstly, the Holocaust paradigm is currently challenged by a deep incompatibility of opinions about the impact, interpretation and meaning of the persecution of the Jews and other victims of Nazi and Communist terror, and secondly it is competed by the rise of a post-1989 Occupation paradigm in Eastern Europe. Interestingly, archaeology plays a prominent role in this dynamic of memory. This may seem self-evident, as archaeologists are digging for truth and authentic traces, but archaeology has never been an innocent discipline. This accounts also for the war period itself, during which the first excavation of mass graves already started as pivotal in ideological propaganda. This ‘heritaging’ of the past asks for a transnational rethinking of the archaeology of terrorscapes.
Period31 Oct 2014
Event titleCHAT 2014 CONFERENCE Dark Modernities 31 Oct-2 Nov. 2014
Event typeConference