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< All Fellows and Scholars

Dr. Rafael Kropiunigg

Dr. Rafael Kropiunigg
2016-2017 J. B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Fellow

“Concentration Camp Functionaries and Former Functionaries: The Example of Mauthausen, 1930s—1990s”

Professional Background

Rafael Kropiunigg recently completed his PhD in history at the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom). Dr. Kropiunigg holds an MA in history from the University of Oxford (United Kingdom) and previously read for the degree of BA in Modern History and Politics at the universities of California and London (United Kingdom). During his tenure as J. B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Fellow, Dr. Kropiunigg will be turning his PhD (‘The Lives and Afterlives of the Mauthausen Subcamp Communities’) into a book, and will be conducting research for his postdoctoral project, entitled “Concentration Camp Functionaries and Former Functionaries: The Example of Mauthausen, 1930s—1990s”.

Dr. Kropiunigg is fluent in English, German, and has a good command of French.

Dr. Kropiunigg is the author of the monograph Eine österreichische Affäre: Der Fall Borodajkewycz (Vienna, 2015), which is an extended version of his article ‘The Rehabilitated Austrians and the Borodajkewycz Affair’, Austrian History Yearbook 46 (2015). He now chiefly focuses on the social history of concentration camps and the effects of the Holocaust in the early postwar period. For a recent contribution in an edited volume, see ‘Life after the concentration camp in early postwar Austria: The former inmates of Ebensee between liberation and marginalisation’, in M. Brenneisen, C. Eckel, L. Haendel, and J. Pietsch (eds.), Stigmatisierung - Marginalisierung - Verfolgung: Beiträge des 19. Workshops zur Geschichte und Gedächtnisgeschichte der nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager (Berlin, 2015).

Fellowship Research

While in residence at the Mandel Center, Dr. Kropiunigg employed the biographies of Mauthausen SS and prisoner functionaries as a lens into the continuities between different wartime and postwar Third Reich communities. Focused on these individuals’ social histories and the changing local contexts over time, it followed their lives from the start of the camps into the new postwar world. The study combined their social histories with the local and political contexts that nurtured them between the 1930s and 1990s: from the communities neighbouring Mauthausen and its subcamps to the various German and Austrian towns to which many eventually returned after serving out their postwar sentences.

He used the Museum’s various collections and the International Tracing Service archive to pursue this work.

Dr. Kropiunigg was in residence at the Mandel Center until August 31, 2017.