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  1. Download The Jews of Pinsk 1881 to 1941 (Stanford Studies in Jewish History and C) Read Online
  2. Sonderkommando photographs
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As our first findings showed, while kinship-based relations in the camps were already well established before deportation, chance encounters at the workplace and barracks could also lead to strong and enduring bonding. Arguably, the degree of intimacy constitutes a critical variable when estimating the significance of a given relationship.

Download The Jews of Pinsk 1881 to 1941 (Stanford Studies in Jewish History and C) Read Online

We thus tentatively attempted to measure the strength of each recorded relationship by correlating it to its duration using a 1 to 5 scale. Long-lasting pre-war or post-war connections were treated as safe indicators of proximity and heightened intimacy between prisoners and graded the highest. Conversely, short-lived or extremely hierarchical relations received the lowest grade.


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At first glance negligible, these fleeting encounters nevertheless showcase in their totality the multiple and imaginative ways prisoners interacted with each other and thus merit to be recorded and classified. Project members tagged the imaginary as much as the physical relations mentioned. In their testimonies, survivors often allude to celebrated individuals whom they were not personally acquainted with but only had heard of.

Doctor Coenka, for example, a physician and member of the Auschwitz orchestra, is often positively mentioned as head of a network that saved the lives of several Salonican Jews.

They allow us to understand how status was attained and maintained among prisoners, who were the group leaders and how they emerged, and therefore uncover a different set of power relations, other than that between persecutors and persecuted, shaping social life in the camps. The dataset currently includes relationships based on an analysis of twenty survivor testimonies.

To create social data connectors and comprehensively map the social networks of these Salonican Jews we used a graph visualization platform, Gephi. We expected to see at least some overlapping networks emerging since we mainly data mined testimonies of interrelated survivors by kinship or location.

Contrary to our expectations, the following graph revealed instead a fractured social world, composed of numerous, albeit isolated, relationships and dominated by ego-networks although more data feeding is needed to determine whether this is not, in fact, due to the small number of testimonies examined. The Venezia and Gabbai brothers, together with Marcel Nadjari, had entangled pre-deportation trajectories. Of Italian citizenship, born and raised in Salonica, they were part of its last multi-lingual Jewish generation, fluent in Italian, French, Greek, and Ladino.

Once the war erupted, they all fled to Athens, joined the Greek leftist resistance, were subsequently arrested, and, after a period of imprisonment, finally deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. There, they were all employed in the Sonderkommando unit, eventually managing to stay close and help each other. In January , during the evacuation of Auschwitz, Dario Gabbai, the Venezia brothers, and Daniel Benahmias once again stuck together. Transferred to Mauthausen, they all survived and liberation found them all alive. As we continue to explore the features of Gephi, a color differentiation of the nodes based on attributes such as friendship or kinship will offer a comprehensive, deep mapping of the nature of social networks and the semantics of trust in Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The methodology and software developed can be applied to the study of social interaction within and between other groups of camp prisoners, or, to other areas of Holocaust research, such as hiding and escape. In fact, our ongoing project will be expanding its scope and resort to a digital social network analysis of Holocaust testimonial material in order to map the webs of relations that made hiding or escape from Nazi-occupied Greece possible for Salonican Jews.

Reconstructing the composition, nature, size, and mutability of these networks will make possible a systematic assessment of the importance of financial, social, and cultural resources in sustaining networks of hiding, escape and rescue and thus offer fresh insights into the old but persistent question of how social trust was maintained during the Holocaust. The use of digital network visualizations can be construed as a corrective to the emphasis on the individual another kind of technology of representation puts — that of the written, audio, and nowadays audiovisual, even hologram, testimony.

The audiovisual testimony becomes the organizing unit of the digital Holocaust archive and thus determines its serial logic and its politics of representation. As she recollects her suffering, the witness becomes the sole author of her biography of extinction. However, spotlighting the survivor does also have some disturbing methodological implications.

Sonderkommando photographs

The specifically linear organization of most Holocaust audiovisual archives implicitly informs a distinct logic of individual-centered representation of the survivor and by default, of survival as well. Yet, a methodological focus on social relations and the use of digital technologies as a means to visually represent them can redress this imbalance. Attention to the forms and structures of relatedness can lead to a better understanding of how prisoners attempted to reconstruct a social universe in the camps and navigate within it under extremely adverse circumstances. Hence, they allow us to understand better how identities were not only forcefully imposed by the perpetrators but also liminally crafted by the prisoners themselves, as fragmentary senses of the self, produced through the discourses and practices of relatedness.

Data connectors may be dots and lines in a blank screen, but they eventually let us understand what it meant to be human in Auschwitz.

Our sincere thanks to Dr. Jean Bauer for developing the data insertion sheets and graphs; to Amelia Armitage and Jennifer Sieber for data mining the testimonies; and to Laura Brazzo, Megan Lewis, and Kepa Rodriguez for their insightful comments on earlier drafts of this paper.

Agassi, J.

Henry Ford

Jerusalem: Gefen, pp. Bartov, O. Ordering Horror: Conceptualizations of the Concentrationary Universe. In Bartov, O. Bartrop, P. Baumel, O. Baumel, J.

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Baumgarten, M. In Resisting the Holocaust. Rohrlich, R. Oxford: Berg, pp. Bowman, S.

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The Agony of Greek Jews, Bravo, A. Italian Women in the Nazi Camps. Aspects of Identity in Their Accounts. Oral History , pp.

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Browning, C. Remembering Survival. Inside a Nazi Slave-Labor Camp. Caplan J. Wachsmann eds. Concentration Camps in Nazi Germany. The New Histories. London: Routledge. Cohen, N. Coping with Fate and Reality. Yad Vashem Studies 20, pp. Davidson, S. Group formation and its significance in the Nazi concentration camps.

Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences 22, pp. In The Nazi Concentration Camps. Gutman, Y. Saf eds. Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, pp.


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Des Pres, T. Esperanza, M. El Olivo 31, pp. Fleming, K. Greece: A Jewish History. Journal of Modern Greek Studies , pp. Fogu, C. Kansteiner, and T. Presner eds. Friling, T. A Jewish Kapo in Auschwitz. History, Memory, and the Politics of Survival. Greenspan, H. Horowitz, E. Kovacs, B.

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Lang, D. Laub, K. Waltzer and A. Engaging Survivors. Studies on the Holocaust , pp. Greif, G. Petropoulos, J. New York, NY: Berghahn, pp. Gutterman, B. New York, NY: Berghahn. Handali, Y. Thessaloniki: Ets Ahaim Foundation. Hartman, G. In Visual Culture and the Holocaust.