Biography of Thing and Thing in a Biography
The decision to follow the bread in accounts of survivors is based on two factors. Firstly, its importance in testimonies, both in qualitative and quantitative aspects. Secondly, its recognizable presence in private and public narratives raises the question of its role in commemoration processes.
In the presentation, the attention will be paid to different biographies of bread, which mark wide range of different cultural activities it was involved in. At first, its career evolves from an nutritive object, through currency to functional thing. Then, after the war, memory of the camp is conveyed through everyday practices related to bread: showing the great respect in which it is held, and recording the rituals and habits of camp provenance. But bread is also present as a narrative element that illustrates deeply symbolic events, both momentous and traumatic in survivors' biographies.
Research is based on the accounts which come from written texts and memoirs, Majdanek State Museum and Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum’s archives, and narrative inquires conducted by the author with survivors.