Swanson, John C.
Epstein, Seth; Auchter, Jessica; Runyon, Carolyn
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
Sachsenhausen is the site of a traumatic and complex history in the twentieth century. Since 1933, Sachsenhausen has taken on many diverse forms: a Nazi concentration camp, a Soviet Special Camp, an East German National Memorial, and after German reunification, a memory site in contemporary Germany. This work examines the contrast between the centralized, nationalist narrative of the GDR, and the current “decentralized” concept at the site in post-communist Germany. Unlike many other memory sites where previous narratives are minimized, obscured, or even destroyed; Sachsenhausen exhibits relics from all eras of its history, conceptualized in this thesis as “layers of memory.” The ability of the individual to engage these layers and prescribe personal memory narratives, even against the intended purpose proposed by the creator, keeps memory at the site alive and ever-changing. Sachsenhausen today can be viewed as a microcosm of a complex German memory and state-identity from the end of the Nazi era to present day, and reflects the difficulties faced by a Germany still attempting to reconcile both its National Socialist and Communist pasts.
B. A.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Arts.
Sachsenhausen (Concentration camp); World War, 1939-1945 -- Concentration camps -- Germany; Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Germany
Bookheimer, Barry J. Jr., "The layers of memory at Sachsenhausen: from the GDR to contemporary Germany" (2015). Honors Theses.