2 Minuten mit Prof. Dr. Gideon Reuveni

Scholars have studied the political, legal and economic aspects of German reparations after the Holocaust, typically depicting it as a successful reconciliation model. Only recently has research started to appreciate the full bearing of personal indemnification after the Holocaust on the compensating society, as well as its tremendous impact on the lives of survivors and their families. To get any degree of financial compensation, claimants had to comply with a complicated, lengthy and expensive procedure implemented by a German bureaucracy, with no guarantee of success. The claims contain testimonies as well as supporting evidence of all kinds, providing an immense yet hitherto underused source of information regarding Nazi persecution, as well as offering an abundance of material that will provide new insights into Jewish life before, during and after the Holocaust. My project is designed to set some preliminary markers that will facilitate further investigations of this important field of historical inquiry. By closely exploring personal compensation claims my study will help us gain a better understanding of changing conceptions of historical selfhood and also bring a multitude of lost voices into focus, the voices of men and women, who otherwise left few traces of their lives.

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