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Graphik: Bulletpoint Abstracts issue 3/2017 (English)

Martin Weichbold/Wolfgang Aschauer: Visitor Experiences and Visitor Behavior at Educational-heritage Sites. A Mixed-Methods-Study about the Documentation Obersalzberg

Obersalzberg is considered to be a »site of the perpetrators« in the history of National Socialism. Spending time at the authentic Obersalzberg site, visitors shall also be confronted with the catastrophic consequences of National Socialism and World War II. In 2016 a visitor research project was carried out in order to develop a new concept for the exhibition by implementing a complex mixed-methods research strategy (adopting secondary analysis, various forms of interviews, standardized and unstandardized observations and one group discussion) trying to identify motives for the visit and reactions to the exhibition. The focus is on the questions, which aspects of the stay are able to create deep impressions and would provoke long-lasting effects of the visit. Although the impact of the exhibition is different for each individual, various modes of confrontation with the exhibition contents are detected. The four immediate reactions to the visit can be described as modes of rationalization, memory, empathy and overwhelming distress. Further results reveal that the visit not only brings about impressions for the moment, but has long-term effects.

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