NS-„Volksgemeinschaft” and Camps in the Central Region of Lower Austria. History – Contact Zones – Memory

During the Nazi era, there were at least 60 camps in the central region of Lower Austria, where people excluded from the „Volksgemeinschaft” (national community) and forced labourers from all over Europe were accommodated. Today, most of the former Nazi camps have disappeared from the collective memory and the local culture of remembrance. Many camp sites are no longer (or hardly) recognisable: they have been demolished, built over or redesigned.

The research project, led by the Institute for Jewish History Austria in cooperation with the Department for Arts and Cultural Studies (University of Continuing Education Krems), has three goals: Firstly, a critical examination of social cohesion and its ruptures is to take place on the basis of the construct of the „Volksgemeinschaft” under National Socialism. Therefore, secondly, the largely forgotten existence of numerous camps in the central region of Lower Austria is to be brought to consciousness, researched and the state of research improved, among other things through the participation of Citizen Scientists. Thirdly, the project aims to sustainably preserve material remains, pictorial and written sources as well as personal memories and narratives that have also been passed on over generations. These historical testimonies are not only to be transferred into the collective memory of the country through formats of mediation and commemorative culture, but also to be embedded in the transnational remembrance landscape resulting from the present-day places of residence of former inmates and their descendants all over the world. Any structural and material remains, soil finds, objects and the like that may come to light will be reported to the responsible archaeologist or the Federal Office for the Protection of Monuments and/or the national collections for further safeguarding, and in this way foundations and synergies for further research will be re-established.

Project management: PD Dr. Martha Keil
Project staff: Dr. Christoph Lind, Dr. Philipp Mettauer, Janina Böck-Koroschitz; Dr. Edith Blaschitz (UWK), Karin Böhm, MA (UWK)

|Further information (in German only)!|

Cooperation partner for Citizen Science: Treffpunkt Bibliothek” of the Lower Austrian municipal libraries.

A cooperation of the Institute for Jewish History in Austria and the Department of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Continuing Education Krems, funded by the Lower Austrian Government, Department of Science and Research.

Cooperation project: |Making Traces Legible in the Nazi Forced Labor Camp Roggendorf/Pulkau|

Remains of the former Gneixendorf prison camp © Karin Böhm