Week 28: The Nazi Forced Labour Dokumentation Centre in Berlin, Germany @doku.ns_zwangsarbeit . Created by @mardixonpic
It's late in Berlin now and we say good bye and thank you for having a look in here. We'd be happy to welcome you in person in Berlin some day. You find us on instagram @doku.ns_zwangsarbeit if you have any questions, wishes, whatever.
The next week will be our chance to learn to know the Museum of Art in Lodz @muzeumsztuki which is the second oldest museum of modern art worldwide.
Byebye and good night from Berlin and hello Lodz.
We're very much looking forward to our next special exhibition: Philibert and Fifi. Cartoons and Sketches by a french forced laborer.
The exhibition shows the work of Philibert Charrin. He had to work as a excavator close to Graz. He never lost his humor as you can see on these pictures. The exhibition was curated by the NS Documentation Center of Cologne, to be shown this winter at our museum in Berlin.
The last of many stories we'd like to show here. Many more to read, see and listen to in our museum in Berlin. #neverforget
Leonid Ryabchenko described his arrival in the camp and his work.
We thought for today we simply let a few of the people talk, whose stories we collect to tell them to the world.
This is Ugo Brilli. As mentioned before, he's the only survivor of the very camp the museum is in now. Ugo sais himself, he only survived as he had to work in the kitche . He was liberated by the soviet army, could return home and start a life.
For three years now, we do offer international youth meetings. Right now there's a two weeks summercamp happening with 16 girls and boys from Poland, Germany, Ukraine, France and Belarus. Together they are preparing a theather play, working with testemonies of former forced laborers - of course there's time to explore Berlin and start new friendships. Next friday will be the premiere for the public. We're already excited.
Seeing all the exhibitions this week, you might wonder, what else are we offering.
We do have a specialized library with about 4,400 media units and over 5,900 journal articles. The collection focuses on the areas of Nazi forced labor and Nazi camp system. Other priorities include state and society under National Socialism, persecution and murder of European Jews and other victims groups, World War II, as well as memorial and commemorative culture.
We keep books in English, German, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Russian and French.
The exhibition "Batteries for the Wehrmacht" focusses on just one company. The curator's job was to find survivors and ask them to tell their stories. There was not too much hope after over 70 year but she succeeded. We then decided to make an exhibition out of it. It was one of the most touching days, when we had the chance to meet most of them in person for the opening.
Sometimes things happen by coincidence. While working on the exhibition of Pertrix, the children of Piet de Ruiter were visiting the museum telling about their father's Piet collection of photos he took and his diaries during his forced labour for the AFA in Hanover. Not knowing, that this was something very special we were happy to include Piet's story and his pictures in the exhibition as well. The familiy bacame friends. What a wonderful job we have.
This is in short, how Hildegard Simon discribes her forced labour at Pertrix.
This is a so called Pertrixstar for jewish forced laborers from 1941. There was a a duty to wear identification marking at Petrix even before the the official introdution in germany on 19 September 1941. Hildegard Simon had to wear this star from July 1941 at Pertrix. Ilse Stahl, another jewish forced laborer said in 1950: "Although as a privileged Jew under the law I did not have to wear the star [in public], I had to wear an armband in the works so that I could be identified as a Jew." Arthur Salomon said later: "The whole workforce had a strongy anti-Semitic attitude."
Pertrix was a subsidiary of AFA (Accumulatorenfabrik AG), which was a part of the Quandt Group. They made dry batteries and Torch lights for the Wehrmacht. Comparatively harmless we thought, until we found out, they even produced fuse batteries for the Luftwaffe for their combat airplanes. The batteries were a central wartime industrial product and one of the main sources of income for the Quandt Group.