Figuring the Grey Zone: the Auschwitz Sonderkommando in contemporary culture

Williams, Dominic (2019) Figuring the Grey Zone: the Auschwitz Sonderkommando in contemporary culture. Holocaust Studies: a Journal of Culture and History, 25 (1-2). pp. 141-157. ISSN 1750-4902

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17504902.2018.1472880

Abstract

This essay reads the ways in which the Auschwitz Sonderkommando figure in the film The Grey Zone (2001) and the comic book Magneto: Testament (2009). The almost archetypally traumatic experiences of the Sonderkommando have made them a difficult subject for many media. But in forms and genres which place great emphasis on character and plot it has actually made them a way to figure some of the key difficulties of trauma. This essay shows how the generic conventions of gangster films and superhero origin stories allow The Grey Zone and Magneto to address both the moral questions of the Sonderkommando’s position and the ways in which they are able to bear witness.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sonderkommando, Grey Zone, Magneto, genre, witnessing, violence, trauma
Subjects: P300 Media studies
V300 History by topic
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2019 16:42
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2019 14:46
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/40931

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