Anika Walke deposited Split Memory: The Geography of Holocaust Memory and Amnesia in Belarus in the group Holocaust history on Humanities Commons 2 years ago
The remote location of Beshankovichy’s mass grave for Jewish victims of the Nazi genocide reflects the exclusion of local Jews during the German occupation of Soviet territories and limits their memory to a few knowledgeable survivors and witnesses. In contrast, local commemorative practices focus on memorials for Soviet soldiers, partisans, and their aides. The paper reveals an incongruence of the place of historical experience on the one hand, and the locale of popular commemoration on the other, highlighting the impact of the Holocaust in Belarus to destroy Jewish history and its memory. The spatial division reflects the trauma of loss as much as shame for local participation in the mass murder. Drawing on oral histories, archival materials, and field visits, the study builds on a growing field of scholarship on the role of space and place in the construction of memories and identities in the aftermath of atrocity and trauma to discuss the geographical dimensions of memory and amnesia.