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On the threshold of Ka-Be: architectural history in the shadow of the death camps

Inaugural Lecture I The internationally best-known expert on the construction history of the Auschwitz concentration camp, Robert Jan van Pelt, begins his one-semester DAAD Visiting Professorship at the University of Kassel.

We cordially invite you to attend the inaugural lecture
At the Campus Center of the University of Kassel, Moritzstraße 18, Lecture Hall 6
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Robert van Pelt's research has been published in numerous languages, he has developed the strategy for the development of the UNESCO World Heritage Site there, was a key witness in the trial of Holocaust denier David Irving, and as a result has developed the methodology of forensic architectural research. Most recently, he has addressed the global history of the wooden barracks and the concept of "Jewish space." He is architectural advisor to the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center and professor of architectural history at Waterloo University, Canada.
In his inaugural lecture for his DAAD Visiting Professorship at the University of Kassel in the winter semester of 2021/22, he will outline his personal approach to his field of research, and the series of lectures that will follow will be devoted to the three-hundred-year history of the wooden barracks.

Lectures on the wooden barrack
Every Thursday 18:00 from 28.10.
At the Campus Center of the University of Kassel, Moritzstraße 18, Lecture Hall 3

The wooden barrack - almost completely ignored in the usual architectural historiography - is a universal building type of modernity that emerged from globalization processes and is at the same time a tool of globalization. The emergence of the barrack dates back to the 17th century. It has been inscribed with Austro-Hungarian military practices, U.S. timber construction, British colonialism, German standardization and industrialization, pandemics, the two world wars, and the Holocaust, among others. The shanty is based on globalized processes of knowledge production, manufacture, and use. It is an extremely efficient product, quickly producible with the simplest means and unskilled labor, versatile and universally usable, and mobile. It is thus the prototype of modern spatial production par excellence. In a radical way it embodies and addresses internationality with a universal principle.

In honor of Robert van Pelts, the University of Kassel is organizing the symposium Denkmal-Kontroversen über umstrittene Gedenkorte in Kassel
Thursday 21.10.2021 - Saturday 23.10.2021
With a city walk and eight discussions and controversies about Former German Colonial School / Village Mulang / M***apotheke/ Former Kassel Gestapo Headquarters / War Memorial/ Karl-Branner-Bridge / HalitPlatz / Obelisk

Detailed program and lifestream:

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