Background to the Poster Image

Berlin-Wilhelmshagen Transit Camp, December 1942.

Labor office staff registered the forced laborers and handed out employment certificates.

Photo: Gerhard Gronefeld; source: Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin

Berlin-Wilhelmshagen Transit Camp, December 1942.

The women stayed in the camp only a few days. They were to be sent on to their place of employment as quickly as possible. New transports arrived every four to five days.

Foto: Gerhard Gronfeld; source: Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin

Female forced laborers from the Soviet Union on their arrival at the Berlin-Wilhelmshagen Transit Camp, December 1942.

Source: Photo: Gerhard Gronfeld; source: Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin

Berlin-Wilhelmshagen Transit Camp, December 1942.

Labor office staff registered the forced laborers and handed out employment certificates.

Photo: Gerhard Gronefeld; source: Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin

Poster to the international traveling exhibition „Forced Labor. The Germans, the Forced Laborers and the War” in Moscow

The exhibition was on view at the Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945 from 22 June 2011 until 21 November 2011.

More on the subject

The exhibition

Catalog

Background to the Poster Image

The exhibition poster depicts a photograph of female forced laborers from the Soviet Union on their arrival at the Berlin-Wilhelmshagen Transit Camp in December 1942.

Every day from the spring of 1942 onward, thousands of deported men, women and children arrived on rail transports at the “Durchgangslager” (transit camps) which had been set up all over the German Reich as regional distribution centers.

In the transit camps, the deportees were first subjected to disinfection. Then they were registered by members of the employment office staff, and issued employment cards and “Arbeitsbücher” (labor books). Finally they were assigned to the companies which had applied for workers.

The employment offices frequently fixed a date on which farmersor company representatives could select workers for a fee. Former forced laborers described this situation in their memoirs as tantamount to a slave market.