Encountering Emotional Conflict during My Research Fieldwork

Isabel Sawkins is a History PhD student investigating the contemporary memorialisation of the Holocaust in the Russian Federation. One of the chosen case studies is the Russian national exhibition, “Tragedy. Valour. Liberation”, at Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.

As a descendant of Austrian Jews, and more generally as a human-being, I knew that conducting research at Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum was going to be an upsetting experience.…