Mauthausen-Studien 9: Andreas Kranebitter
The ninth volume to appear in the series "Mauthausen-Studien" was the book "Zahlen als Zeugen. Soziologische Analysen zur Häftlingsgesellschaft des KZ Mauthausen" by Andreas Kranebitter
The National Socialist concentration camps and their so-called ‘prisoner societies’ present an on-going challenge to sociological research: is it possible to analyse such an extreme state of exception using the ‘traditional’ concepts and methods of sociology at all? Studies provide a range of answers; but the basis of analysis has always been qualitative methods looking at survivor memoirs.
In this volume, the author makes an important contribution to the debate. Based on the detailed analysis of data on 167,500 prisoners of the Mauthausen concentration camp known by name, the study reveals patterns behind phenomena such as ‘everyday mortality’ and puts conventional images of certain prisoner groups, such as the Soviet prisoners of war or the ‘criminals’, into a new light. Through a consideration of new methods, the author places what is a unique source at the centre of his analysis. The results and interpretations of the statistical calculations give rise to illuminating statements about how ‘social order’ was constituted in ‘prisoner society’.