Pushing the Limits of Artistic Representation

Inciting Memory and Discourse — The Only Way to Go?
  • Stephen C. Feinstein


The monument at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp near Hanover, Germany contains the inscription, ‘Earth, Conceal Not the Blood Shed on Thee!’. While the monument is a modest obelisk with several languages for remembrance, the message is severe. Unfortunately, the blood of the Holocaust and other genocides has been concealed, and in many cases, visits to concentration camp memorial sites provide a visually pleasant aesthetic of grass and forests, broken by mass graves and monuments. The horror that was once there, documented by the British army in the famous ‘liberation of Belsen’ films, is now cleared of the landscape of death. The memory of what was once there, for those who know about it, may still be strong. But Holocaust survivors, especially former inmates of Belsen, have complained that the current landscape can be misleading, even make one complacent. Worse yet, there is always the threat that the citations about numbers of bodies in the mass graves can be altered, even erased.1


Mass Grave Concentration Camp Holocaust Survivor Artistic Representation Holocaust Education 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

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  • Stephen C. Feinstein

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