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Research on Forced Labourers in Bavaria

Angelika Laumer in the ITS reading room.

Angelika Laumer has researched in the archives of the International Tracing Service (ITS). for her dissertation “Forced Labour under Nazi reign in rural Bavaria – Intergenerational Ways of Remembering a Crime”. She sifted in the “OuS Archive” database through list material on the rural districts of Bogen and Kötzting. “Arolsen has a lot of documents”, Laumer stated. “I can find answers here to multi-perspective questions.”

Her particular concern is trying to find out how many forced labourers were staying in these rural districts, where their children were born, how many among them and their children died, for how long they kept staying there after liberation, and in which Displaced Persons Camps they were registered. “I am less interested in individual fates than in the overall pattern“, related the 32-year-old.

Laumer’s academic thesis focuses on remembrance work. She found out that apart from a few papers the subject of forced labour in rural Bavaria has hardly been investigated with respect to remembrance. There are contemporary witnesses still alive who may pass on their narratives about the era, said the political scientist. “The fact is that memories have been handed down to children and grandchildren. And it happened that former forced labourers remained and spoke about their past in their families.”