Call for Papers

21st Workshop on the History and Memory of National Socialist Camps and Extermination Sites: “Between Resistance and Collaboration”

Place: Aix-en-Provence/Marseille, France.
Date: May 24th until May 30th 2016
Organizing team: Anne-Lise Bobeldijk (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Juliette Constantin (Ulm/Tübingen, Germany and Aix-en-Provence, France), Karoline Georg (Brussels, Belgium and Berlin, Germany), Tanja Kinzel (Berlin, Germany),Verena Meier (Heidelberg, Germany), Paula Oppermann (Berlin, Germany).

Deadline for the Call for Papers: October 15, 2015

21st Workshop on the History and Memory of National Socialist Camps and Extermination Sites

The “Workshop on The History and Memory of the National Socialist Camps and Extermination Sites” has been organized annually since 1994 by and for university graduates working on topics related to the history and memory of National Socialist camps and mass extermination sites. The workshop is addressed to scholars interested in presenting new research projects and connecting with other researchers in this field. It provides space for academic discussion, for questions, problems, and words of advice for theses, including those in progress.

The workshop intends to support international and interdisciplinary research and to enable dialogue between different countries and disciplines. The main particularity of the workshop is the principle of self- organization, which explains why there is no institution behind it. Students can take part in the workshop three times: as a speaker, a participant and as a member of the organizing team.

This year, the organizing team decided to expand the title of the workshop from “The History and Memory of National Socialist Concentration Camps” to “The History and Memory of National Socialist Camps and Extermination Sites” because recurring discussions at the workshop have shown that it is fruitful to include graduates that are not only researching concentration camps but also other forms of National Socialist camps and extermination sites.

“Between Resistance and Collaboration” in Aix-en-Provence

The aim of the upcoming workshop is to discuss the different facets of camps and extermination sites in relation to the topic “Between Collaboration and Resistance”. A variety of these places were installed not only within the German “Reich”, but also beyond its borders in the occupied territories and in countries, which collaborated with Nazi Germany in Eastern and Western Europe. The complex spectrum of actions of all groups within this terror system – such as perpetrators, victims, and bystanders – deserves further research.

The location Aix-en-Provence will serve as a springboard to discuss the topic. Aix-en-Provence was under the authority of the French Vichy-Regime, which collaborated with National Socialist Germany. One example of this collaboration was the internment camp of Les Milles near Aix-en-Provence, that later also served as a transit camp to Auschwitz. This camp clearly shows the complex and tense relationship between those in power and those subject to authority, as well as the spectrum of actions ranging from collaboration to resistance: Multiple forms of resistance within the camp, attitudes of the local population and what individuals perceived as their personal opportunities for agency within this frame. Besides lectures there will be excursions to locations reflecting the regional and national politics of memory, such as the memorial in Les Milles.


Presentations should be related to the topic of this year.

Possible themes include the following:

– the history of collaboration with National Socialism related to the topic of camps and mass extermination sites: creation of spaces of exclusion and extermination, (e.g. camps or ghettos) by collaborators with Nazi

Germany; history of camps as multifunctional spaces varying between collaboration and resistance; participation of the collaborators in the Nazi politics of deportation and extermination; structures within camps and ghettos concerning forms of collaboration or resistance

– the history of resistance related to the topic of camps and extermination sites: e.g. forms of resistance in the camps, resistance of the population or aid agencies, ways of helping the victims; subversion tendencies within the administration in Nazi camps or mass extermination sites

– studies of changing reactions to Nazi camps and mass extermination sites along the spectrum of collaboration and resistance; the role of complicity; the role of bystanders; the perspectives of different countries on exile

– forced labor: forms of resistance in the workplace, e.g. protest, sabotage; forms of collaboration and the difference between collaboration and measures of sustenance or survival; treatment after the end of the war

– studies of changing attitudes toward former collaborators or people who were later regarded as collaborators in different countries after 1945; trials against war criminals; memory of resistance and collaboration in different countries

Applicants (MA- and PhD-candidates) for the workshop are requested to send in an abstract of their research project (two pages maximum) and a short CV. We welcome university graduates from a variety of disciplines (history, sociology, philosophy, literature, theology, art etc.) working on the topic to apply.

The presentation should not exceed 20 minutes. After the presentation there will be time for a 40-minute discussion on the topic of the paper. The presentations will be held in English. The papers presented during the workshop will be published in a collective volume.

Applications should be sent to by October 15, 2015. The organization team will send out acceptances by the end of November. For those interested in participating without presenting a paper, a Call for Participants will be published by the end of the year. Once selected, the speakers will be asked to send in a summary of their research project (maximum 4 pages) by February 2016. We are currently applying for funding to cover the costs of the conference, as well as the costs of accommodation and travel expenses.


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