Rhetoric of Ruins – chapter 5 texture of memories

pg 119 – [talking about Auschwitz] Some people claim such a charge in places of “history”, but usually this aura is apparent only to those who already know something of the site’s past, or who suspect a site is somehow historical.

pg 136 – Birkenau (memorial ) the greatest proposal in the opinion of hte artists and architects on the jury was unacceptable to the survivors from the Auschwitz committee. In a design that Moore called “exceptionally brilliant, ” a Polish team headed by Oskar Hansen proposed laying a seventy-meter-wide swatch of black stone slabs cutting diagonally from one end of the camp to the ruins of the largest crematorium at the other end. The path would have evoked a symbolic refutation of the camp’s past reality, a black scar upon the face of this profaned earth… The survivors on the committee felt it was too diffused and abstract, without a focal point for commemorations; in addition, they felt that such an abstract remembrance was not in keeping with the literalness of their experiences.


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