Figuring the Grey Zone: The Auschwitz Sonderkommando in Contemporary Culture

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Abstract

This essay reads the ways in which the Auschwitz Sonderkommando figure in the film The Grey Zone (2001) and the comic book Magneto: Testament (2009). The almost archetypally traumatic experiences of the Sonderkommando have made them a difficult subject for many media. But in forms and genres which place great emphasis on character and plot it has actually made them a way to figure some of the key difficulties of trauma. This essay shows how the generic conventions of gangster films and superhero origin stories allow The Grey Zone and Magneto to address both the moral questions of the Sonderkommando’s position and the ways in which they are able to bear witness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-157
Number of pages17
JournalHolocaust Studies: a Journal of Culture and History
Volume25
Issue number1-2
Early online date12 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019

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