Elisabeth Anstett will deliver the paper ‘Undesirable corpses: Destruction of bodies and denial of memory in the Gulag’ on 6 December 2014 at the INGOS conference in Cape Town.
By examining the Soviet concentration system, the paper will address the burial procedure (or lack thereof) for the millions of prisoners sentenced to forced labour from 1918. It is a notable feature of the Soviet State that they did not return the bodies of the dead to their families. The paper will interrogate the variety of practices used on the bodies to dispose of them “without a trace”, and the effects the issues this raises on the memory of the Soviet camps today.
For the full conference programme, please see here.