Trinkets in Camps

Doc Richard Iveson is a harvester of obscure snippets and curios, none escape his ability to comb through the detritus of philosophy for gems to hold up to the gloaming (apols to Benjamin and Kracauer):

Hi John. I’m in the middle of writing a paper on Catherine Malabou and along
the way I came across an unusual use of the word “trinket” which (if
you don’t already know) I thought you might find interesting –
according to Wolfgang Sofsky (in ‘The Order of Terror’), in the Nazi
concentration camp at Ravensbruck (a women’s camp), the prisoners who
were beyond any possibility of surviving (i.e. the ‘Muselmanner’) were
known as ‘trinkets’. Odd, but provocative, don’t you think?


One thought on “Trinkets in Camps

  1. This has reminded me of something strange and long forgotten. Not a camp of course but at the big co-ed comprehensive school I attended out in the right-wing provinces, the word ‘trinket’ was not in common parlance but shy or terrified teenage girls were sometimes referred to dismissively by the boys as ‘ornaments’.


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