Co upamiętniamy 29 sierpnia w Łodzi? Sposoby konstruowania miejsc pamięci
WHAT DO WE COMMEMORATE ON AUGUST 29 IN ŁÓDŹ? SITES OF MEMORY CONSTRUCTION METHODS
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Referring to the concept of lieux de mémoire, developed by a French historian Pierre Nora, the author writes about practices commemorating the past and describes spaces subordinated to the function of commemoration. The area of her interests covers celebrations commemorating the events in Łódź on 29 August 1944. On that day, in Łódź (at that time – Litzmannstadt), the last transport of the Litzmannstadt Ghetto Jews left the Radegast Station for Auschwitz-Birkenau. Initially, the Radegast Station provided only cargo transport services for the ghetto, then it became a location from which Jews were transported to work outside the ghetto, and to which Jews from other places in Poland and Europe were moved. From this station during the year 1942 Jews were deported to the extermination centre in Chełmno on the Ner and since August 1944 – to the camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau. In total, Germans deported approximately 145.000 Jews. Together with the last transport, the Litzmannstadt Ghetto ceased to exist. The journey to the concentration camp on that August day was not only a tragedy experienced by hundreds of people crammed into cattle wagons, but also a symbolic date that put an end to the existence of the Łódź Jewish Community and Jewish local society which, before the outbreak of World War II, constituted one-third of the city population. In the article, the author explains why certain memorials are becoming the most important places of yearly commemorations of the Jews deported from the ghetto to death camps. She also discusses the meaning of practices connected with visiting lieux de mémoire.
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