First number of "Auschwitz Studies"
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Contributed by jm
Monday, 25 February 2013
The first number of the English language Auschwitz Studies has been published by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. The Studies have been available for 55 years in Polish and — as Hefte von Auschwitz — in German. Auschwitz Studies will replace the German language version.
The main theme of Auschwitz Studies 26 (preserving the existing numbering) is the question of the citizenship among the SS in Auschwitz, which is discussed by Aleksander Lasik, who specialises in the history of the German Nazi concentration camps. Other articles discuss such subjects as: the sub-camps of Freudenthal, Kobiera and Lichtewerden, the initial stage of the deportation of the Jews from Zagłębie to Auschwitz, a history of the camp’s printing shop and the fire brigade at KL Auschwitz.
Table of contents of Auschwitz Studies from number 1 to number 25 (in Polish)
The first number in the multi-volume series of the Auschwitz Studies appeared in 1957. The intention of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum’s publication was to publish monographs, contributions to the history of the camp and the sub-camps.
As one of the most important and earliest research projects, it was undertaken to determine the chronology of events in the German Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz. The results or the research were published in the pages of Auschwitz Studies from number 2. in 1958 to 7. in 1963.
In the first half of the 1960s, work began on the history of Auschwitz sub-camps. Continuation of work on the sub-camps constituted the study of individual parts of the camp complex. In addition, research was conducted on broader synthetic issues, such as the resistance movement, the employment of prisoners or the evacuation, liquidation and liberation of the camp. Also published in the Studies were the memoirs of former prisoners, which came in to the Museum during annual competitions.
According to the designated profile in the pages of Studies, the source materials were also published. From the first number, the editions contained the full text of books evidencing the arrests in Auschwitz — the so-called bunker books. Since 1968, the source materials were published in a separate series as special issues of the Studies. A total of four such numbers were issued.
Within the pages of the Auschwitz Studies were also printed the results of research on the fate of all prisoners deported to Auschwitz. A relatively large part of the articles related to the deportation and extermination of the Jews — the largest groups of victims. Also taken into account is the question of the SS camp staff, the crimes committed by them and the responsibility for the crimes.
In the mid-90s, reviews and studies of discussions on the subject of Auschwitz and other concentration camps, the Third Reich, the policy of the state authorities towards Poles and Jews, as well as the memoirs of former prisoners and survivors of the Holocaust appeared in the Studies.
Selected works from the Studies were published in English and French versions: From the History of Auschwitz (vol. I, 1967 and vol. II, 1976) and Contribution à l’histoire du KL Auschwitz (vol. I, 1967 and vol. II, 1978).
Most of the works published in the Studies on the history of Auschwitz was developed by the research workers of the Auschwitz Museum. In 2012, important areas of their research included topics such as: deportations of Jews to Auschwitz from the occupied Polish regions and an attempt to clarify their numbers and circumstances concerning transport and their fate after arriving in the camp; economic conditions of the development of Auschwitz along with reconstruction of dependencies between the subsequent concept of using the labour force of prisoners and extension of the camp — a detailed analysis of the structural changes introduced during design work and construction of the gas chambers and crematoria; prisoner community structure: number and position in the hierarchy of the camp's various national groups; selection, development and publication of sources concerning the history of Auschwitz.