Episode 17- The Historical Memory of the Spanish in Mauthausen

Episode 17 with Sara J. Brenneis

Between 1940 and 1945, some 7,200 Spanish Republican exiles were held captive in Nazi Germany’s notorious Mauthausen concentration camp.  In this episode, part of our series on the Nazis and Spain, Sara J. Brenneis, author of Spaniards in Mauthausen: Representations of a Nazi Concentration Camp, 1940-2015, discusses examples of how the Spanish in Mauthausen were remembered in Spain, from the time of the Franco regime up until today.  In each case, from prisoners who clandestinely kept records from inside the camp to accounts that made it past the censorship of the Franco years to recent works of “postmemory” such as a graphic novel and a twitter feed, Brenneis considers how historical context can shape the memory of this Spanish encounter with the horrors of the Nazi regime.

The Episode

The Guest

Sara J. Brenneis is an Associate Professor of Spanish at Amherst College in Massachusetts, specializing in Spanish Cultural Studies.  She earned her doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley in Hispanic Languages and Literatures. In 2014, she published Genre Fusion: A New Approach to History, Fiction, and Memory in Contemporary Spain.  Her new book, Spaniards in Mauthausen: Representations of a Nazi Concentration Camp, 1940-2015 was published in 2018 by the University of Toronto Press. She has also written on representations of Spaniards in Nazi concentration camps for the Journal of Spanish Cultural StudiesHistory & Memory, the ALBAVolunteer and the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, among other publications. Her co-edited volume (with Gina Herrmann), Spain, World War II, and the Holocaust: History and Representation, is forthcoming with the University of Toronto Press. She was a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow and a visiting scholar at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona in 2015 and will be a visiting scholar at the Complutense University in Madrid in 2019-20.

Images of Mauthausen

mauthausen pic 1


Mauthausen Pic 3.jpg

Suggested Reading

  • Avni, Haim.  Spain, the Jews, and Franco.  Trans. Emanuel Shimoni.  Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1982.
  • Amat-Piniella, Joaquim.  K. L. Reich: novel‧la. Barcelona: Club Editor, 1963.  [Translated into English by Robert Finley and Marta Marín-Dòmine.  Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2014.]
  • Archiv der KZ-Gedenkstätte Mauthausen.  The Visible Past: Photographs of Mauthausen Concentration Camp.  Vienna: Austrian Ministry of the Interior, 2005.
  • Bermejo, Benito.  El fotógrafo del horror: La historia de Francisco Boix y las fotos robadas a los SS de Mauthausen.  Barcelona: RBA Libros, 2015.
  • Hernández de Miguel, Carlos.  @deportado4443 Twitter account.
  • Llorente, Mariano and Laila Ripoll.  El triángulo azul.  Madrid: Centro Dramático Nacional, 2014.
  • López-Quiñones, Antonio Gómez and Susanne Zepp, eds.  The Holocaust in Spanish Memory.  Historical Perceptions and Cultural Discourse.  Leipzig, Germany: Leipziger University Press, 2010.
  • Mauthausen Memorial Website.
  • Pike, David Wingeate.  Spaniards in the Holocaust: Mauthausen, the Horror on the Danube.  London: Routledge, 2000.
  • Roig, Montserrat.  Els catalans als camps nazis.  Barcelona: Edicions 62, 1977.  [Published in Castilian translation as Noche y niebla: los catalanes en los campos nazis.]

Photo Credits:

  • Mauthausen Photos- Sara J. Brenneis
  • Featured Image- Maria Stenzel

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