K. (Katie) Digan, MA

Katie Digan studied history and philosophy in Groningen, Dublin and Amsterdam. She graduated Cum Laude from VU University Amsterdam with a degree in history in 2013. She is a junior researcher for NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, where she is currently working on an article about Jewish reactions to antisemitism and Israel-criticism in the Netherlands 1970-1980. She also works at the Advice and Research department of the National Committee for 4 and 5 May, where she manages the national war monuments database.

Research: Places of Memory. The Case of the House of the Wannsee Conference

In 1942, a group of high-ranking Nazis came together in a villa in Berlin to discuss the Final Solution during what is now called the Wannsee Conference. Fifty years later that same villa was turned into a memorial site and museum for one of the most infamous episodes of the history of the Holocaust. Today, hundreds of people a day visit the house to learn about its history. Why did it take so long for the house to become a ‘site of memory’? And what happened to the house in the meantime? This book takes the case of the House of the Wannsee Conference as a beginning point to investigate how and why buildings and places transform from regular places to ‘carriers of memory’. How can a house become haunted by its past? And why do we visit historical places to get a sense of the past?

Publications

  • Katie Digan, ‘Space and place of memory: the case of the Haus am Großen Wannsee 56-58’ in: Stefan Berger and Joana Seiffert ed., Erinnerungsorte: Chancen, Grenzen und Perspektiven eines Erfolgskonzeptes in den Kulturwissenschaften (Klartext Verlag 2014).
  • Katie Digan, Places of Memory. The Case of the House of the Wannsee Conference (Palgrave Macmillan forthcoming 2014).

E-mail: katie.digan@gmail.com