chapter  1
24 Pages

Architectural Solutions, Spatial Solutions, and Final Solutions

Alice Lok Cahana is one of five Hungarian Holocaust survivors featured in Steven Spielberg’s documentary The Last Days. In the movie, she returns to Auschwitz-Birkenau some fifty or so years after being taken there in the summer of 1944. After looking around at the decaying structures of the camp, Alice turns to her son, who has accompanied her on this trip, and tells him, “What [a] vast landscape you are seeing here . . . Somebody had to plan it. Somebody had to be an engineer. Somebody had to really put on a map, this kind of deficiency.”1 Her body language and words suggest that she still cannot comprehend that architects, engineers, and cartographers actually spent hours diligently planning this place.