Holocaust Remembrance Day: London’s Imperial Conflict Museum desires to problem perceptions of the Holocaust
(CNN) – New galleries, due to open later this year at the Imperial War Museum in London, will challenge popular beliefs about the Holocaust, with an emphasis on the “normal” people who committed the atrocities.
In the galleries of World War II and the Holocaust, topics such as persecution, escalation, the development of violence against Jewish people and the increase in tensions after the First World War are examined.
A V1 “doodlebug” bomb will occupy a space between the new World War II and the Holocaust galleries.
Imperial War Museum
“The Holocaust plays a big role in contemporary culture, but the version that is emerging is not necessarily the historical event that the Holocaust was, but a kind of constructed, cultural reinterpretation,” said the historian James Bulgin responsible for the content of the new Holocaust galleries, said CNN.
“This is based on certain very centralized tropes like deportation trains, Auschwitz selections, and gas chambers. Of course, all of these things are really important, but the Holocaust is a much bigger, much more chaotic and complex story,” he said.
The birth certificate of Eva Clarke, who was born in the Mauthausen concentration camp, is issued.
Imperial War Museum
The museum has announced that the Holocaust galleries, due to open in October, will examine the perpetrators’ “normal” identities, explain who was responsible for these crimes, examine their motivations, and demonstrate how normal they seem to be in everyday life .
They will contain personal stories from perpetrators and victims, as well as objects, documents and photos designed to help visitors understand the cause, course and devastating consequences of the genocide.
One of the objects to be exhibited in the gallery is the birth certificate of Eva Clarke, one of only three babies born in Mauthausen concentration camp who survived liberation.
The galleries will be airy and well-lit, Bulgin said, to remind visitors that the atrocities took place “in our world”.
“If the Holocaust becomes this apotheosis of industrialized genocide, so much of the human dimension will be taken away from it – for the experience but also for those who do it,” he said.
“In the mind of some people, the genocidal process that the Holocaust represents was almost something that developed an unstoppable dynamic and it meant that the people who killed and the people who died were only part of an industrialized process,” said he. Such an interpretation suggests that those who participated in the atrocities did not have an agency.
“But the reason the Holocaust turned out this way was because people – individuals – continued to make decisions day after day, week after week, month after month, even year after year,” he added.