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The holocaust and the museum world in Britain: a study of ethnography

The holocaust and the museum world in Britain: a study of ethnography
The holocaust and the museum world in Britain: a study of ethnography

The Imperial War Museum’s (IWM) permanent Holocaust exhibition opened in June 2000 to general acclaim in the media. Subsequently the exhibition, like the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, has proved immensely successful in generating visitors (over a quarter of a million in its first twelve months) and it appears to have elicited positive instant responses from them. In contrast to its American counterpart, however, there has been little questioning of the scope of the IWM exhibition or at a more basic level, whether it was appropriate in the first place. This contribution is an attempt to open up dialogue about the nature of the IWM Holocaust exhibition including the validity or otherwise of some of its items of display. It desires to situate the exhibition in wider debates than those focusing more narrowly on Holocaust commemoration. First, it places the exhibition in the context of collective memory and identity in Britain, especially in relation to the outside world and more specifically, Germanness and Jewishness. Second, it examines how other forms of atrocities and racism have been represented in order to provide a comparative framework.

354-373
Routledge
Kushner, Tony
958c42e3-4290-4cc4-9d7e-85c1cdff143b
Watson, Sheila
Barnes, Amy Jane
Bunning, Katy
Kushner, Tony
958c42e3-4290-4cc4-9d7e-85c1cdff143b
Watson, Sheila
Barnes, Amy Jane
Bunning, Katy

Kushner, Tony (2018) The holocaust and the museum world in Britain: a study of ethnography. In, Watson, Sheila, Barnes, Amy Jane and Bunning, Katy (eds.) A Museum Studies Approach to Heritage. 1st ed. Routledge, pp. 354-373.

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

The Imperial War Museum’s (IWM) permanent Holocaust exhibition opened in June 2000 to general acclaim in the media. Subsequently the exhibition, like the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, has proved immensely successful in generating visitors (over a quarter of a million in its first twelve months) and it appears to have elicited positive instant responses from them. In contrast to its American counterpart, however, there has been little questioning of the scope of the IWM exhibition or at a more basic level, whether it was appropriate in the first place. This contribution is an attempt to open up dialogue about the nature of the IWM Holocaust exhibition including the validity or otherwise of some of its items of display. It desires to situate the exhibition in wider debates than those focusing more narrowly on Holocaust commemoration. First, it places the exhibition in the context of collective memory and identity in Britain, especially in relation to the outside world and more specifically, Germanness and Jewishness. Second, it examines how other forms of atrocities and racism have been represented in order to provide a comparative framework.

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Published date: 2 October 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 427298
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/427298
PURE UUID: ef69e634-7d94-4a05-828c-44b4f93dd1d6

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Date deposited: 11 Jan 2019 17:30
Last modified: 11 Jan 2019 17:30

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Contributors

Author: Tony Kushner
Editor: Sheila Watson
Editor: Amy Jane Barnes
Editor: Katy Bunning

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