When I began my forray into Holocaust Studies, I often felt overwhelmed and under qualified. I composed an essay recounting my own personal ambition to qualify myself as a Holocaust Historian and what that odysessy has meant for me.
"A Quest to Qualify"
These webpages explore many of the most famous sites of imprisonment, torture, and death implemented on the Jews of Europe by Nazi perpetrators and their collaborators. These sites include ghettos, concentration camps, death camps, prisons, synagogues, and neighborhoods. Along side these historic places of commemoration are museums and memorials conceived with the collective mission to honor the millions who lost their lives to an evil unmatched in World History. That evil was clearly manifested in the development and implementation of the Nazi camp system.
The first concentration camp was set up in Germany after Hitler seized power in 1933. It was located in Dachau, near Munich Germany, and served initially as a place of detention for political opponents of Nazism. As opposition to the camp system grew, so also did the number of camps. Before the outbreak of WWII in September 1939, the following camps were in operation: Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, Mauthausen, Flossenbürg, Neuengamme, and Ravensbrück. As the war advanced on many fronts, this led to the building of more concentration camps, along with their satellite camps, in the occupied territories: Stutthof, Auschwitz, Gross-Rosen, Bergen-Belsen, Majdanek, Dora, and Kovno. As the numbers of camps increased, their function widened and they became instruments of a ruthless racial policy. Some of the camps then became sites of extermination, as did Auschwitz II Birkenau and Majdanek. Extermination camps built for the sole purpose of mass murder appeared at Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, and Chelmo. The need for manpower in sustaining German industry during the war years produced numerous labors camps. Transit camps were set up to handle the thousands displaced by mass resettlement actions and eviction campaigns. In all, there were over 7,000 different kinds of camps that had been in operation in Hitler's Europe by the end of the war.
So in conjunction with the primary research I have conducted worldwide for my dissertation, I have also toured these sites of Jewish life and death, with the intent of creating lecture seminars on Holocaust Memorialization through international and national perspectives. On these pages I have summarized the places I have visited, written brief histories of the sites, made observations concerning their methods of presentation, and have commented on the implied "mission" of the facilities and the facilitators. I sub-divided the material into three geo-political categories that can be linked to below:
Memorialization in the United States & Israel
- Cincinnati, Ohio - Hebrew Union College, Center for Holocaust & Humanity Ed.
- Washington D.C. - United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- New York City, NY- Mus. of Jewish Heritage, A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
- Los Angeles, CA - Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust Martyr's Memorial
- Los Angeles, CA - Museum of Tolerance
- Jerusalem, Israel - Yad Vashem, The New Holocaust History Museum
- Akko, Israel - The Ghetto Fighters' House Museum
- Tel Aviv, Israel - The Nahum Goldmann Museum of the Jewish Diaspora
Memorialization in Poland & The Czech Republic
- Warsaw, Pl - Jewish Historical Institute of Poland, Holocaust Exhibit
- Warsaw, Pl - Warsaw Ghetto Memorialization
- Lublin, Pl - Majdanek Concentration Camp Memorial and Museum
- Belzec, Pl - Belzec Death Camp Memorial and Museum
- Krakow, Pl - Auschwitz & Birkenau Concentration Camps Memorial & Museum
- Krakow, Pl - Oskar Schindler Factory
- Krakow, Pl - Podgorze Ghetto Memorialization
- Krakow, Pl - Kazimierz District, Jewish Quarter Memorialization
- Plaszow, Pl - Plaszow Concentration Camp Memorialization
- Prague, Czech Rep. - Jewish District Memorialization
- Prague, Czech Rep. - Theresienstadt Ghetto Memorialization
- Prague, Czech Rep. - Terezin Prison Camp, Small Fortress
Memorialization in Austria & Germany
- Linz, Austria - Mauthausen Concentration Camp Memorial and Museum
- Munich, DE - Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial and Museum
- Munich, DE - Sites of the Third Reich
- Berlin, DE - Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Memorial and Museum
- Berlin, DE - Jewish Museum of Berlin
- Berlin, DE - Neue Synagogue and Centrum Judaicum
- Berlin, DE - Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
- Hamburg, DE - Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial and Museum
- Hamburg, DE - Altona District Memorialization
- Hamburg, DE - Museum of Hamburg History, "Jews in Hamburg" Exhibit
- Germany - Stolpersteine Holocaust Victim Memorialization