The transmission of household objects from the National Socialist era to the present in Germany and Austria: a local conversation within a globalized discourse
Fudan Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences
© The Author(s) 2016. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Increasingly, scholars of Holocaust memory stress its globalization: the ways in which the Holocaust has become a model or reference point for remembered events that belong to quite different historical and cultural contexts. The best of this literature acknowledges the ways in which the local, national, and global are in continual dialogue. This article looks at an instance in which memory remains stubbornly local and national even in contexts in which it is ostensibly internationalized. The article is concerned with history exhibitions about the Nazi era in Germany and Austria and examines one particular set of museum objects: household possessions that have been stored in homes since 1945 and that are typically presented by the museum as having ‘resurfaced’ in the present. These objects are used to concretize abstract processes of remembering and forgetting, communication and silence, in the years from 1945 to the end of the twentieth century. As such, they form part of ongoing debates about how family memory operated during that period in Germany and Austria.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Springer via the DOI in this record.
First online: 05 February 2016