Liberation: between the historical moment and an endless process

7th Mauthausen Memorial Dialogue Forum

Liberation: between the historical moment and an endless process

The 7th Mauthausen Memorial Dialogue Forum shall contribute to illuminate the term “liberation” in connection with the end of National Socialism in Europe in all its different historical, remembrance, political, regional/national facets.

In its existential significance, the term “liberation” is rather unfathomable. Its discursive nature is always applied in a spatial-temporal context and is imbued with contended ideological concepts: to be liberated from what? How does the process of liberation occur? What is the objective of liberation, and where does it “end”? And last, but not least: who is the liberated subject, and who is not?

The programme shall contribute to shed light on the term “liberation” in connection with the end of National Socialism in Europe in all its different historical, (memory) political and regional/national facets. What is the role of liberation within the individual and collective memories of survivors? What significance has the term assumed – regardless from its existential notion – in the different national or transnational, official or marginal, discourses of memory? In which symbolic and ritual textures is it being expressed and how is it brought to attention at the various European sites memorialising the Nazi crimes? And which new interpretations of the term could be applied in the discussion on the past in the light of the present?

The Dialogue Forum will also inaugurate the traveling exhibition “Where were we supposed to go after liberation? Waypoints: Displaced persons after 1945” by the International Tracing Service (ITS) Bad Arolsen.
Liberation: between the historical moment and an endless process

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