The Eichmann Trial in Transmedial Perspective: Figures of Memory, Law and Justice in Literature and Film

International Workshop in Buenos Aires (end of March 2022; hybrid) 

The Eichmann trial was an incisive event for the history of human rights as well as for the examination of the singular human crime of the Shoa. Following on from the discussion of the reception processes and dynamics in the cultures of remembrance in Israel, Germany, Argentina and Brazil, the workshop aims to examine the diverse cinematic and literary narratives of the Eichmann case.

Both the phase of Eichmann’s hiding in Argentina until his capture by the Israeli secret service – “Eichmann before Jerusalem” (B. Stangneth) – and the events surrounding the trial – “Eichmann in Jerusalem” (H. Arendt) – will be examined. The representation of different figures (perpetrators, witnesses, ‘investigators’, prosecutors, observers) will be traced in different memory contexts.

How are central actors (perpetrators, witnesses, ‘investigators’, prosecutors and observers from the Hessian Attorney General Fritz Bauer, to the Mossad agents and actors in the kidnapping, to the juridical staff who played a central role in the trial) remembered and evaluated in retrospect? How do juridical-forensic, ethical and aesthetic discourses intertwine? Which documents, texts, images have experienced a central cultural significance or re-evaluation? What is the function of different genres and formats and their autobiographical, testimonial and even metafictional framing? Which figures and images have emerged transmedially as well as transnationally? How are fictional and factual modes of representation related? What breaks, shifts, conflicts and differences can be observed with regard to the discourses of memory between the different, but also within the nationally spaces of memory and in the respective public spheres in South America, Israel and Europe?

The workshop, which will focus on cultural representations of memory, will be complemented by a panel in which actors in the politics of memory will discuss ethical, aesthetic and didactic questions of memory.

The contributions will be documented in a book publication planned for 2023.

Meaningful proposals on individual works, comparative considerations or overarching questions can be submitted in the form of abstracts (approx. 1 page with indication of the preferred language of presentation) by e-mail until 15.12.2021.

The workshop will take place in hybrid form, so that online presentations are also possible. The languages of the workshop are Spanish, Portuguese, German and possibly English. Proficiency in one of the two Romance languages is considered useful for participation in the workshop.

Organisation and direction:

Dr. Christian Ernst, DAAD Lektor and lecturer at the Departamento de Letras Modernas of the Universidade de São Paulo.

Dr. Patrick Eser, DAAD Lektor and lecturer at the Cátedra libre Walter Benjamin at the Universidad de Buenos Aires

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