Art History



Degree Name

Master of Arts in Art History (M.A.)

Type of Paper/Work

Qualifying paper


Victoria Young

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Kindall

Third Advisor

Heather M. Shirey


I has been nearly seventy-five years since the Holocaust took place and we are still finding new ways to piece its history together. Although extensive research has been put into World War II and the Holocaust, it is rare to find a focus on sculpture built at the concentration camps for contemplation and memorialization. In this paper I discuss sites of remembrance, The International Monument and Never Again Wall at Dachau (1968) and The International Monument to the Victims of Fascism at Auschwitz (1967) concentration camps. Though built nearly eight years apart from one another, these camps served the Nazi regime’s goal of attempting to execute the Jewish people and their culture. It is through these sites that, I argue, one can have a spiritual experience in a place all religion seemed lost. Utilizing the theory of
redemptive mode given to us by scholar of religious landscapes, Gretchen Buggeln, I hope to shed light on this dark topic. Redemptive mode theory looks at sites of universal tragedy or loss and finds hope within them. It is through these moments and the role of ritual within the touring of the camps that I argue hope can be found, often through the silence of contemplation. It is these structures that offer the survivor a place to remember, and the visitor a place to pay respects. Books, articles, documentaries, diaries, first-hand site visits, and survivor stories to
inform my research. This paper will help to enlighten the reader on sites of remembrance within camps and to showcase that there is more to the Holocaust than pain, there is also life beyond the barbed wire.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.