When Bereaved of Everything: Objects from the Concentration Camp of Ravensbrück as Expressions of Resistance, Memory, and Identity

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Abstract

When survivors from the Ravensbrück concentration camp arrived in Sweden in spring 1945, some of the objects they brought with them from the camp were collected and preserved. These are modest in appearance, but were – as oral testimonies show – invaluable in camp. The concentration camp context of obliteration stretches the limits of interpretation of material culture to its extreme. In this article the objects are discussed as expressions of resistance, memory, and identity. These immaterial values were among the most vital coping strategies used by the prisoners against the dehumanization laid upon them by the camp administration. The material culture was central in enabling, upholding, and realizing these.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Archaeology

Keywords

  • Identity, Material culture, Memory, Ravensbrück, Resistance
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-530
JournalInternational Journal of Historical Archaeology
Volume22
Issue number3
Early online date2017 Jul
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sep
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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