Gina Herrmann is Professor of Romance Languages and Judaic Studies at the University of Oregon. She is a scholar of Spanish literature, the Holocaust, and Leftist Studies. She is the author of the 2010 Written in Red: The Communist Memoir in Spain and Editor and co-author of the 2020 Spain, The Second World War and the Holocaust. She has co-edited a volume on the life and work of Jorge Semprún, as well as collections on Hispanic cinema. Her new research focuses on cultural memory and literary engagement with French concentration camps of WWII and the mosaic of victims and administrators whose experiences in these camps constitute a laboratory of 20th century migrant and refugee internment.
Rivesaltes: French Concentration Camps and the Laboratory of Internment
During her stay at the Camargo Foundation, Gina Herrmann will work on survivor narratives of the WWII era French Concentration camp of Rivesaltes, which contribute to a present-day understanding of the detention center as a laboratory for the methods and justifications for the internment of refugees over the course of nearly seven decades; a model that has likely served later concentrationary projects, including the
current detention regime on the U.S. border. The research poses this question not from the position of the Vichy regime and French officials, but from the perspective of its diverse inmate populations (Sinti-Roma, Jews, Partisans) and the Black Africans who enforced the camp’s conditions.