Prof. Gerhard Botz
13.03.2013 -h. 16:00
Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for European History and Public Spheres,
Nussdorfer Strasse 64, 4th floor, 1090 Wien
For a long time, the Mauthausen concentration camp was treated as an essentially German (or Austrian) site of Nazi persecution. Its transnational dimension has only recently become the focus of historical research, with a European wide oral history project including more than 800 survivors, undertaken by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Historical Social Science. The main foci of the still ongoing Mauthausen Survivors Research Project presented here are directed at the factors that contributed to the multinational composition of the camp, the experiences made by the deportees, and their memory of them. This lecture will concentrate on the various ‘paths’ leading to the camp (from Poland, Ukraine, Russia, France etc.) in accordance with the expansion of Nazi rule in continental Europe. Detailing this context will allow us to shed light on the polyphonic life inside the camp and on the inmates’ varying chances of survival.
Gerhard Botz is professor emeritus for contemporary history at the University of Vienna and director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Social History (LBIHS). His main research has been directed at political violence, national socialism, quantification, oral history, and memory. His publications include Nationalsozialismus in Wien, 2008 (new ed. forthcoming); Schweigen und Reden einer Generation (ed.) (2008), Kontroversen um Österreichs Zeitgeschichte (co-ed.) (2008); Jews, antisemitism and culture in Vienna (co-ed.) (1987, German ed. 2002); Gewalt in der Politik (1983).