Call for Papers: 24th Workshop on the History and Memory of National Socialist Camps and Killing Sites - From Centre to Periphery and Beyond

The Workshop on the History and Memory of National Socialist Camps and Killing Sites has been held annually since 1994. The international conference, entirely self-organized by young scholars, provides an interdisciplinary and collegial forum for academic exchange on the history and memory of National Socialist camps and sites of mass murder, the Second World War, and the Holocaust. The idea of the workshop is to create a forum for interdisciplinary and international exchange between
graduate students, PhD candidates, young scholars and freelancers, and to give them the possibility to present and discuss their work in a non-hierarchical, supportive atmosphere. Accordingly, young and emerging scholars contribute to the workshop in three ways: as speakers, as participants and as members of the organizing team.

The 24th workshop

Every workshop is organized in a different location connected to its respective topic. The next workshop will take place in Salzburg, Austria (19-25 October 2020). We will focus, in part, on local NS history and memorial sites, which are paradigmatic of the topic of the workshop - From Centre to Periphery and Beyond.

Prior to the Second World War, the Jewish community in Salzburg was subject to stigmatization, persecution and displacement for hundreds of years. Following the so-called Anschluss of Austria in March 1938, the discrimination reached a new high.Salzburg Jews who had the possibility to emigrate, left behind their property and tried to build new liveselsewhere; a few went into hiding; while others were protected by their non-Jewish spouses. The majority of those who stayed behind, however, were forced to move to Vienna and finally deported to NS camps.

The city of Salzburg was situated between the Dachau and Mauthausen concentration camps - infamous sites that today are of central importance to the historical, sociological, and political study of National Socialist camps. From these two main camps, a characteristic net of subcamps extended over the region - with one camp in Hallein being just a few kilometers outside the city of Salzburg. Concentration
camp inmates were also deployed within the city boundaries. They were subjected to forced labour, including highly dangerous jobs, such as locating and defusing bombs.

In the vicinity, Bavaria was an early stronghold of the NSDAP in the 1920s. Along with Berlin, the Obersalzberg from 1933 onwards became the second centre of the German government. From these locations, the NS elite conceived of, planned, and administratively orchestrated the Second World War and the Holocaust. Therefore, the Obersalzberg unites aspects of periphery and centrality, while at the same time being
connected to Salzburg, which, in fact, lies within sight of the mountain.Due to its location close to the border, Salzburg had been a hub for National socialist propaganda even before the Anschluss and continued to fill a central position within the National socialist state thereafter. Thus, these places are inherently connected to the topic of the workshop. We accordingly plan to visit Mauthausen concentration camp memorial, the memorial in Steyr-Münichholz - which was a former subcamp
of Mauthausen - as well as the Documentation Centre Obersalzberg.


Along with the local NS history, the organizers aim to bring together a broad range of research topics in Salzburg, which touch upon the history of National Socialist camps and killing sites and their aftermaths.

Applicants are encouraged to explore aspects of centrality and/or periphery in their research. Possible topics include killing sites, death marches and different types of camps, as well as their functions and architecture, relations with local populations or centres of power. New methodological approaches are highly welcome, particularly but not exclusively, those relating to space (spatial, material or forensic turn) and gender.

We invite MA and PhD students to apply as speakers or general participants. We encourage students and professionals from a variety of disciplines (history, sociology, philosophy, literature, theology, art etc.) to apply.In particular, we welcome the application of young researchers from Eastern and South-Eastern Europe.

  • Speakers who wish to present their research are requested to submit a short CV and a one-page abstract of their proposed paper (300-500 words).
  • General participant applicants should include their CV and a one-page proposal (300-500 words) indicating the workshop's relevance to their research and why they want to participate.

All submissions to the workshop should be in a single PDF or Word file and emailed directly to

workshopnscamps2020 [at] gmail [dot] com

by 31 October 2019.

The presentations and discussions will be held in English. The presentations should not exceed 20 minutes. After the presentations, there will be an extensive 40-minute discussion on the topic of the paper.

The 24th international workshop will take place in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Bertrand Perz of the Austrian Society of Contemporary History and the Institute of Contemporary History at the University of Viennain October 2020. We are currently applying for funding to cover the costs for the workshop, as well as the accommodation and travel costs. We are willing to accommodate special needs (e.g. childcare or dietary restrictions) according to our possibilities. The conference room is
wheelchair accessible. We kindly ask all speakers and participants to attend the entire workshop in Salzburg. Following the conference, we intend to publish a selection of the papers presented. Acceptances for proposals to participate in the workshop will be sent out by the end of 2019.

For further information on the workshop please consult our website:


Organizing team

Agathi Bazani (Aristotle University, Greece), Ulrike Loeffler (Friedrich
Schiller University of Jena, Germany), Robert Obermair (University of
Salzburg, Austria), Christian Schmittwilken (Institute for Contemporary
History Munich-Berlin, Germany), Maximilian Schulz (Leipzig University,
Germany), Laura Stoebener (Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany),
Florian Zabransky (University of Sussex, Brighton, UK), Jonathan Zisook
(City University of New York, USA) 


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