Reviews and Awards
"...an ambitious and highly engaging work."--Sarah Clift, University of King's College
"Susanne Knittel's book is beautifully written and original. It will inspire a necessary and overdue dialogue between Holocaust studies, memory studies, and disability studies."--Michael Rothberg, author of Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization
"The Historical Uncanny is a compelling and highly original study of two interlinked, 'asymmetrical' sites of European history and memory: Grafeneck and Trieste, Germany and Italy, disability and race, euthanasia, ethnic persecution and genocide. Knittel builds on and challenges some of the most important recent insights into Holocaust memory, weaving around her two case studies a fascinating web of 'multidirectional' connections, biographical, spatial, representational and conceptual."--Robert S.C. Gordon, University of Cambridge, author of The Holocaust in Italian Culture, 1944-2010
"Susanne Knittel s study of 'disability, ethnicity, and the politics of Holocaust memory' is an extraordinarily original addition to the contemporary literature of Holocaust memory studies. In her focus on previously under-examined sites of memory (such as those commemorating the Nazis mass-murder of the disabled) and under-studied dimensions of the Holocaust (such as perpetrators 'from Grafenick to the Risiera'), Knittel s work not only expands the field but exemplifies the best, most profound new work in Holocaust memory studies I have seen in the last several years. It is absolutely essential reading."--James E. Young, author of The Texture of Memory and At Memory's Edge.
"The Historical Uncanny starts with the fact that it was the same group of German men who organized, supervised, and carried out the killing of the mentally ill and disabled in Grafeneck in 1940 and the deportation and killing of Jews and partisans at the Risiera di San Sabba in Trieste in 1943. The multi-directionality of perpetrator history on the killing fields across Europe generates new insights into the neglected links between eugenics, the Holocaust, and the role of Italian colonialism toward Slovenians and Croats. Past and present of two seemingly very different sites are woven together in illuminating readings of archival research, memorial sites and practices, exhibitions, television series, and literary texts. An exceptionally rich study in perpetrator history and nationally distinct memory politics in today's Europe."--Andreas Huyssen, Columbia University
"'The Historical Uncanny' draws on literary, artistic, and other realms in a study of memorials for the Nazi euthanasia program against the mentally ill and disabled, and for the persecution of Jews, Croats, and Slovenes in and near Trieste." -The Chronicle of Higher Education