“German politics need to deal with the victims as humans. We are not something abstract”, says Argyris Sfountouris, survivor of the SS-massacre in Distomo, Greece on June 10, 1944. ”If victims would be compensated, war would be unprofitable.“
The majority of the more than 20 million victims of Nazi persecution never received compensation. Internationally, Germany’s actions are seen as a model of successful compensations for victims of war crimes and persecution. But legal cases around the Nazi persecution during World War Two continue to govern the daily lives of many of the survivors as well as diplomatic relations of Germany to other nations. The book illustrates in various examples, how the German war compensation narrative is more a myth than a reality.
The survivors of Nazi crimes are dying and the question prevails, how the memory of their experiences and a remembrance of those Nazi-injustices can be kept alive. This book aims to contribute to this and also tries to show that Germany still has historic responsibilities – despite all its present and past efforts to wipe its slate clean.
Along biographic examples of marginalized survivors of Nazi-persecution during World War Two, which stand for unaddressed crimes, for the „unfinished business“ of history, the evocative reportages document the continuous struggles of survivors fighting for recognition and compensation and how they try to preserve their stories through political and legal work from being forgotten. The perspective of the survivors always stands in the foreground.
368 pages | paperback | 24,00 Euro
with almost 120 photographs
published in March 2016 | available
You can see the preview of the publisher here.