Geographies of the Holocaust

Geographies of the Holocaust

Edited by Anne Kelly Knowles, Tim Cole and Alberto Giordano
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 09/19/2014
Format: Hardback 86 color illus., 8 tables
ISBN: 978-0-253-01211-1
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2015 AAUP Public and Secondary School Library Selection--rated outstandingA Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2015

This book explores the geographies of the Holocaust at every scale of human experience, from the European continent to the experiences of individual human bodies. Built on six innovative case studies, it brings together historians and geographers to interrogate the places and spaces of the genocide. The cases encompass the landscapes of particular places (the killing zones in the East, deportations from sites in Italy, the camps of Auschwitz, the ghettos of Budapest) and the intimate spaces of bodies on evacuation marches. Geographies of the Holocaust puts forward models and a research agenda for different ways of visualizing and thinking about the Holocaust by examining the spaces and places where it was enacted and experienced.

Author Bio

Anne Kelly Knowles is Professor of Geography at Middlebury College. She is author of Calvinists Incorporated: Welsh Immigrants on Ohio’s Industrial Frontier and Mastering Iron: The Struggle to Modernize an American Industry, 1800-1868. She has also edited two previous volumes on the use of GIS for history. Her work has been recognized by the American Ingenuity Award for Historical Scholarship from Smithsonian magazine.

Tim Cole is Professor of Social History at the University of Bristol and author of Traces of the Holocaust: Journeying In and Out of the Ghettos; Holocaust City: The Making of a Jewish Ghetto; and Selling the Holocaust: How History Is Bought, Packaged, and Sold, and editor (with Chris Pearson and Peter Coates) of Militarized Landscapes: From Gettysburg to Salisbury Plain.

Alberto Giordano is Professor and Chair of the Department of Geography at Texas State University in San Marcos. He is the author of one book (in Italian) on quality control in GIS and of several publications in GIScience, historical cartography, and hazards geography. He is author (with Tim Cole) of a number of articles on GIS, the Holocaust, and the Budapest ghetto.


“An exploration of the geographies of the Holocaust at every scale of human experience, from the European continent to the experiences of individual human bodies.”

“The authors are to be commended for their pioneering work. . . . Geographers are well positioned to make valuable contributions to the field and to shed light on the historic events surrounding the Holocaust from place, space, and environment-oriented perspectives.”
 — Rudi Hartmann, University of Colorado Denver

“As a pioneering call to extend our familiar approaches, Geographies of the Holocaust offers a welcome model of collaborative interdisciplinarity -- between historians and geographers, humanities and the social sciences, distinguished specialists and scholars from the outside. The desired purposes are admirably served. Thinking with space delivers not only a new range of challenging methodologies, but brings the well-established findings of the field under strikingly new perspectives too.”
 — Geoff Eley, University of Michigan

“Most historians of the Holocaust remain unaware of the powerful methodological tools developed by geographers that can be fruitfully applied to our field. The great value of this book is that it will serve as an introduction and a primer for the uninitiated. It will help explain how GIS and other technologies can enhance our understanding of the Holocaust and convey some important new findings resulting from the application of these very methods.”
 — Alan E. Steinweis, author of Studying the Jew: Scholarly Antisemitism in Nazi Germany

“Geographies of the Holocaust is an excellent collection of scholarship and a model of interdisciplinary collaboration. It brings together the humanistic traditions of the social sciences and humanities emphasizing the experiential aspects of events with cutting-edge technological advances in geovisualization and spatial analysis to seek out broader patterns, structures, and tendencies. The volume makes a timely contribution to the ongoing emergence of the spatial humanities and will undoubtedly advance scholarly and popular understandings of the Holocaust.”
 — H-HistGeog

“Built on six innovative case studies, this book explores the geographies of the Holocaust at every scale of human experience, from the European continent to the experiences of individual human bodies, in order to put forward different ways of visualizing and thinking about the Holocaust.”
 — Jewish Book World

“Both students and researchers will find this work to be immensely informative and innovative. . . . Essential.”
 — Choice

“Geographies of the Holocaust is an important work. It is surprisingly inexpensive for the quality of the production (comparable to an art book) and could be required reading in any number of courses on political geography, GIS, critical theory, biopolitics, genocide, and so forth.”
 — Journal of Historical Geography

“[A] superb [example] of how scholars can use GIS to better understand the past.1/30/15”
 — New Books Network, Jewish Studies

“Geographies of the Holocaust defies the usual expectation that an edited volume will contain chapters of uneven quality—all its chapters are methodologically sound, engagingly illustrated, and open new pathways forward in conceptualizing the spatiality of the Holocaust.”
 — AAG Review of Books

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Table of Contents

1. Geographies of the Holocaust / Alberto Giordano, Anne Kelly Knowles, and Tim Cole
2. Mapping the SS Concentration Camps / Anne Kelly Knowles and Paul B. Jaskot, with Benjamin Perry Blackshear, Michael De Groot, and Alexander Yule
3. Retracing the "Hunt for Jews": A Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Arrests during the Holocaust in Italy / Alberto Giordano and Anna Holian
4. Killing on the Ground and in the Mind: The Spatialities of Genocide in the East / Waitman W. Beorn, with Anne Kelly Knowles
5. Bringing the Ghetto to the Jew: The Shifting Geography of the Budapest Ghetto / Tim Cole and Alberto Giordano
6. Visualizing the Archive: Building at Auschwitz as a Geographic Problem / Paul B. Jaskot, Anne Kelly Knowles, and Chester Harvey, with Benjamin Perry Blackshear
7. From the Camp to the Road: Representing the Evacuations from Auschwitz, January 1945 / Simone Gigliotti, Marc J. Masurovsky, and Erik Steiner
8. Afterword / Paul B. Jaskot and Tim Cole

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