Workshop „Remembering Second World War Technologies: Museums, Exhibitions, Technological Objects, and Visitors“ 22.03.2018 - 23.03.2018 | 10:00 Uhr - 15:00 Uhr

More than 70 years after the end of the Second World War, its innovations in military technology are still remembered with fascination and unease. Particular focal points of ambivalence have been the so-called ‚Wonder Weapons‘ and other resource-intensive developments of Nazi Germany such as the jet fighter Messerschmitt 262, the ‚Tiger‘ Panzer, or the A4 rocket (‚V-2‘). While the A4 was mass-produced at the concentration camp of Mittelbau-Dora and fired at Antwerp and London, it has also been considered a technological forerunner of both the nuclear missiles and space rockets of the Cold War era. Unease and ambivalence have often turned into discontent when these weapons were displayed in exhibitions and museums in Germany and abroad, arousing questions about how to contextualize these objects between feats of engineering and remembrance of their victims.

This conference, organized by the Research Group ‚Meta-Peenemünde‘ (Technische Universität Braunschweig) at the Historisch-Technisches Museum Peenemünde (Germany) on 22 and 23 March 2018, brings together scholars and representatives of museums and memorials that display Second World War technologies, particularly German weapons, in the US, Russia, and Europe. Its goal is to enable discussions about local and international differences in the remembrance of wartime technologies, diverging cultures of memory, and visitor expectations, as well as the challenges and opportunities encountered when restoring, displaying, and contextualizing technological objects. Participants are invited to share their experiences and didactic approaches: Has popular fascination with technology been a chance or challenge? Has a ‚gender technology gap‘ influenced visitor expectations? How can we deal with or utilize claims of ‚authenticity‘? How influential is ‚technological nationalism‘ today? The workshop aims at fostering and intensifying international cooperation between museums and institutions.

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