Search results for: Ebbrecht-Hartmann Tobias
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This week, as the world prepares to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a year after the COVID pandemic closed historical sites around the globe, Holocaust memorials, museums, and national and international institutions, are still challenged by the cancellation of perhaps the most iconic and resonant rituals of remembrance: gathering and commemorating at the actual sites where the mass murder was perpetrated. There’s been a flowering of innovative commemoration initiatives providing virtual access to memorial sites, and ways of commemorating from a distance via social media platforms and other online tools. Memorials and other Holocaust-related institutions intensified their activities on Zoom, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube most particularly between March and May, the period in which most of the Nazi camps were liberated 75 years ago.
Updated: May. 11, 2021
The severe restrictions on public life in many countries following the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic specifically affected Holocaust memorials and museums in all parts of the world, especially in Europe and in Israel. These measures posed a significant challenge, because contemporary forms of Holocaust commemoration are particularly based on the personal experience of presence at museums and historical sites. In contrast to the experience of distancing in face of the COVID-19 pandemic, establishing the presence of the past is thus a crucial element of contemporary Holocaust commemoration. This article explores the relationship between presence and absence, proximity and distance, guided commemoration and online engagement by critically analyzing digital activities of Holocaust memorials and museums in response to the pandemic. It argues that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Holocaust memorials began experimenting with the potential of social media for Holocaust memory. These experiments finally accepted the ongoing generational change and reacted to significant previous shifts in media consumption that were already affecting Holocaust commemoration.
Updated: Jan. 13, 2021