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The Third Reich without the Holocaust: Climbers in Sweden and Austria explain history
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History.
2012 (English)In: Zeitgeschichte, ISSN 0256-5250, Vol. 39, no 3, 205-228 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article discusses the different national narratives about National Socialism and World War II within sports-related subcultures. Based on a recent debate in Swedish and Austrian media concerning the use of Nazi-related names and terminology in climbing routes, the authors analyze the influence of official memory politics on the "Grenzen des Sagbaren", the boundaries of what is utterable and its relation to the acceptableness of certain words, names and concepts connected to WWII within the context of leisure activities. The discourses show a process of separating WWII from the Holocaust and thereby depriving it of its moral and ethical implications. National Socialism becomes a cipher for a system that oppresses freedom of speech, its perpetrators are turned into metaphors of evil instead of protagonists of a widely spread ideology, and the Holocaust itself and its victims are basically ignored. Despite a general moral condemnation of National Socialism, especially in Sweden this dissociation provides a space for anti-semitic statements.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 39, no 3, 205-228 p.
Keyword [en]
politics of memory, anti-Semitism, Sweden, Austria, sport, discourse analysis
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-78774ISI: 000308451000003OAI: diva2:543816
Available from: 2012-08-10 Created: 2012-08-10 Last updated: 2012-11-02Bibliographically approved

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Hess, Cordelia
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