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Familial Complicity in Peter Pontiac's Kraut, Nora Krug's Belonging, and Serena Katt's Sunday's Child

Author:

Laurike in 't Veld

Delft University of Technology & Erasmus University Rotterdam, NL
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Abstract

This article explores the stylistic possibilities of the comics medium to address questions of familial complicity during World War II. Focusing on Peter Pontiac’s Kraut: Biografiek (2000), Nora Krug’s Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home (2018), and Serena Katt’s Sunday’s Child (2019), it argues that these (auto)biographical comics move away from traditional formats and instead offer postmemorial visual and textual collages that bring together different (archival, documentary) sources with more imaginative scenes, which allows for a nuanced and critical exploration of the involvement of their families in the Nazi system. The article explores how these artists question, prod, and hypothesize to uncover the historical facts of their family’s complicit pasts, while also reflecting on their own emotional investment in the family (hi)story. In presenting an assemblage of sources and voices alongside each other, these comics offer no final, fixed narrative. Instead, they highlight the process of meaning-making—an act that counters a definitive reading and leaves space for interpretation. The article shows that this interpretative dimension is also made possible through the absence of a ‘major offender’, which offers more potential to approach the issue of perpetration with nuance and complexity.

How to Cite: in 't Veld, L., 2022. Familial Complicity in Peter Pontiac's Kraut, Nora Krug's Belonging, and Serena Katt's Sunday's Child. Journal of Perpetrator Research, 4(2), p.None. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21039/jpr.4.2.117
Published on 10 Sep 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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