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Liberation: Between Historical Moment and Interminable Process

On 5 May 1945 the Mauthausen Concentration Camp was liberated by the US Army. The prisoners were finally free from one moment to the next, to leave and go where they wanted. But can the term “liberation” be simply applied to locations where hundreds of thousands of inmates lost their lives, and the survivors carried away incurable physical and emotional wounds?

Can liberation, if it exists at all, be linked to a specific historical moment, or is it rather a process? And if liberation is understood as a process, need we not establish the fact that this process - in Austria, Germany and elsewhere - has only proceeded in a conditional and incomplete manner? Are counter-narratives possible to tell the tale of liberation? Which new interpretations of that term would be possible when discussing the past in consideration of the present?

The 7th Mauthausen Memorial Dialogue Forum from 21 till 22 September 2015, which will be organised with the support of the European Observatory on Memories (EUROM) of the University of Barcelona, shall contribute to illuminate the term “liberation” in connection with the end of National Socialism in Europe in all its different historical, (rememberance-)political and regional/national facets. The conference will be simultaneously interpreted into German and English.

Please notice that a binding registration is required to participate as the number of participants is limited.

Detailed information about the programme will shortly be available on this website.

After the Dialogue Forum on 21 September 2015 at 06:00 PM, the opening of the traveling exhibition “Where Should We Have Gone After the Liberation? Waypoints: Displaced Persons after 1945” by the International Tracing Service (ITS) Bad Arolsen will take place.


10:00 am
11:59 pm
Doors open: 09:30 am


Mauthausen Memorial
Erinnerungsstraße 1
4310 Mauthausen
Visitor Centre


BM.I - Dep. IV/7 Mauthausen Memorial