Ritualer i koncentrationslägret. Avståndstagande, moral och anpassning i före detta lägerfångars berättelser från Bosnien

  • Goran Basic


Rituals in the concentration camp. Rejection, morals and adaptation in the narratives from former inmates stories in Bosnia

In this article portrayed experiences of former inmates that were placed in the concentration camps in the beginning of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1900s are being analyzed. The article is based on 13 interviews with former inmates and close relatives that currently live in Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

The purpose with the article is to describe the social interaction rituals that are being retold after a stay in concentration camps and also to identify how these interactions get dramatized symbolically. In addition, the moral that emerges in the description is analyzed.

All the interviewed in the study describe themselves as victims. Throughout the narratives about crimes and encroachment in the camps the interviewed indi- vidual’s take distance from the actions of the guards and the category concentra- tion camp- placed. Retelling violations and resistance rituals show that the space for individuality in the camps were toughly limited but a resistance and status rituals together with adaptation to the living conditions in the camps seems to have generated a space for enhanced individualization. To possess somewhat control and have the opportunity to provide resistance seems to give an emotion of honor and self-esteem to the camp prisoners, not only during but also after the time of war.