Sascha Feuchert, a leading Holocaust expert, spoke to a full auditorium in Eastern Michigan University’s Student Center on Sunday.
The main focus of his presentation was to dispel the prevalent misconception that there were not many texts written in the immediate years after the Holocaust describing the tragedies for a German audience.
Feuchert’s research revealed that in fact there were hundreds of texts written by survivors of the concentration camps.
With the aid of a PowerPoint presentation, he showed that written accounts of the Nazi oppression were being published in other countries as early as the 1930s. The purpose of his research was to dispel the belief that there were no literary accounts of the
Holocaust survivors directly after the war.
Feuchert said that most of the literature that came from prisoners of the concentration camps were poems. With limited access to paper within the camps, the poems were mostly short and easy to remember. These poems were often submitted to newspapers in German cities for
Feuchert said that the editors would regularly alter these submissions, adding pictures and adjusting the texts to maximize the emotional impact of the poem. This would give the readers a sense of dramatizing the experience within the camps.
After the war ended, hundreds of various types of literature about the tragedies experienced within the camps were published.
These texts were not widely accepted by the German population and “did not remain in the collective or cultural memory of Germany,” he said.
Of Feuchert’s presentation, EMU freshman Caroline said, “I thought it was very well done.”
While EMU student Katie Layman said the presentation was informative.
“It was good to hear about the holocaust from a different angle,” she said.