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Putting History in its Place: The Spatial Exclusion of Jews in Nazi-era Berlin

Drawing on over 150 oral history testimonies, this talk illustrates how everyday life changed for Berlin’s Jews under the Nazi regime.

Drawing on examples from over 150 oral history testimonies, as well as other personal memory sources, this talk illustrates how accounts from Holocaust survivors can shed new light on the ways that the spaces of everyday life changed for Berlin’s Jews under the Nazi regime. Focusing on the neighbourhood and the home as spaces of analysis enables historians to engage directly with the redefinition and destruction of sites that once provided a sense of belonging to many of Berlin’s Jews. By targeting these spaces and slowly demarcating them as either Aryan or Jewish, the Nazi regime defined in spatial terms who belonged—and who did not—to the new national community (Volksgemeinschaft).

Recounting the changes to their immediate spatial environments, Holocaust survivors emphasize that the impacts of the Nazi regime and antisemitism writ-large were not hidden away; they were highly visible processes that were manifested in everyday spaces across the city of Berlin. By engaging with the complex postwar afterlives of spaces hidden in plain sight in narratives about Berlin’s Nazi past, scholars can put history in its place—in the neighborhoods, on the streets, and outside the front doors of apartments in the city many German Jews once considered home.


Caroline Cormier | talks


Date and Time:

19 June 2018 at 2:00 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide
29 Russell Square
020 7636 7247

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An accessible toilet is available in the basement and can be reached via the lift.
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If you have any comments, questions, or concerns regarding accessibility at the Library, please email us at info@wienerlibrary.co.uk or call us at +44 (0) 20 7636 7247.

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