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Holocaust Victims, Jewish Law and the Ethics of Archaeological Investigations

STURDY COLLS, Caroline and COLLS, Kevin (2023) Holocaust Victims, Jewish Law and the Ethics of Archaeological Investigations. International Journal of Heritage, Memory and Conflict. ISSN 2666-5050

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Abstract or description

Dead bodies – and the graves in which they are interred – are often highly contested within Holocaust campscapes. Although photographs of bodies at places like Bergen-Belsen, Dachau, and Ohrdruf emerged in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, the exhumation of mass graves of Holocaust victims for either judicial or humanitarian reasons have become something of a taboo subject. Whilst some see dead bodies in these environments as evidence of a crime, others view them as relatives, friends, and loved ones who require a proper burial, a marked burial site, or to be left undisturbed. Disputes arise between governments, communities, individuals, and religious groups when accounting for Halacha (Jewish Law) and the dead. This paper highlights how a non-invasive methodology, derived from archaeology and other disciplines, offers one way of locating and classifying graves whilst respecting the ethical sensitivities involved in their investigation This is a growing field of research and one which has proven ability and future potential to shed new light on the crimes perpetrated across the European Holocaust landscape.

Item Type: Article
Faculty: School of Law, Policing and Forensics > Forensic Sciences and Policing
Depositing User: Kevin COLLS
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2021 12:22
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2024 10:56

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