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 story : Geographies of Destiny #IndiaNEWS #News By Pramod K Nayar In 2017, the digital humanities research group, Fondazione Bruno Kessler at Trento, Italy, set up the Linked Open Data (LOD) Navigator to

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Geographies of Destiny #IndiaNEWS #News
By Pramod K Nayar
In 2017, the digital humanities research group, Fondazione Bruno Kessler at Trento, Italy, set up the Linked Open Data (LOD) Navigator to trace the Italian victims of the Shoah. Rachele Sprugnoli, Giovanni Moretti, Sara Tonelli mapped date and place of birth, death, dates and routes of deportation, place of detention, in Tracing Movements of Italian Shoah Victims. In cases where the inmates survived, this too is recorded. It culled data from the Contemporary Jewish Documentation Centre for this purpose.
In the Shoah, individuals, entire families and often localities were wiped out. In the pursuit of ethnic purity — a feature now of daily lives everywhere, since history repeats, as national registries are prepared of citizens and non-citizens, of those for the nation and those ostensibly against it — detailed surveys were made before the process of deportation was carried out.
And now, the restoration of the routes and names, people and places, in digital mapping projects give us an atlas of suffering.
Maps during war time produced geographies of suffering, and geography in the Nazi era, was destiny
War Years
Wars traditionally produced maps. In the 1940s — the war years — Allied nations printed over a billion maps: 50 maps for every soldier. Later, other kinds of maps were produced, especially in the digital era.
The US Holocaust Memorial Museum had created maps of massacres too, placing the map with the Nazi’s special action group (the Einsatzgruppen) actions in Eastern Europe on its Holocaust Encyclopaedia page.   A similar initiative is the more recent Shoah Atrocities Mapping — Ukraine (SAMU) project from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. This ‘Atlas of the Holocaust Killing Sites in Ukraine’ shows the regions across Ukraine wherein “each region (‘oblast’) is represented by a black monument marker?. Clicking on any of the markers opens up a “label presenting pre-war Jewish population and the number of Jews killed in the region?.
And yet, these online atlases of horror are not the only story, for at the close of the Second World War another undocumented mapping project was underway, in the heart of the collapsing Third Reich. The full and fascinating story of this operation was made public in an essay in the Smithsonian Magazine in 2019.
The American Major Floyd Hough, a Cornell-trained civil engineer, led a military intelligence team of 19 individuals — civil engineers, geographers, linguist and spies — into Aachen (the first German city to fall to the Allied forces, despite Hitler’s orders to defend it at all costs).


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