The Memorialization of the Holocaust: Differences in Memorialization Techniques in East and West Europe

Open Access
Thoet, Annaliese
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Jens Guettel, Thesis Supervisor
  • Cathleen Cahill, Honors Advisor
  • Holocaust
  • World War II
At the conclusion of World War II in 1945, East and West Europe memorialized the Holocaust differently by aligning remembrance with the ruling government’s values. The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the Grossmarkthalle, Gleis 17 Memorial, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Buchenwald, and Treblinka are six memorials in West and East Europe that had divergent paths after the Holocaust and represented remembrance culture in their respective countries. When looking at each memorial, it is essential to understand the history behind each remembrance site, the public response to it, its impact on education, and, most importantly, the location of the memorial. The Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe significantly affected the memorialization techniques and progression of Holocaust sites and former concentration camps in Soviet bloc countries. Unlike Eastern Europe, the public and government in Western Europe worked together to create a remembrance culture in order to remember all victims of the Holocaust.