Federal President at that time Christian Wulff (left rear) and the director of the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation, Volkhard Knigge (right rear) at their walking-tour of the exhibition.

Photo: Svea Pietschmann; source: Jewish Museum Berlin

L. to r.: Volkhard Knigge, Federal President at that time Christian Wulff, Marian Turski.

Photo: Svea Pietschmann, Berlin; source: Jewish Museum Berlin

Witnesses to the historical events at the exhibition opening in the Jewish Museum Berlin.

L. to r.: Robert Piat, Jean Chaize, Antoni Brylinski, Simone Chaize, Vsevolod Suvorov, N.N., Ernst Grosse, Karl Hauke, Maria Staravoitava, Anton Fiadotau, Vera Friedländer.

Photo: Svea Peitschmann; source: Jewish Museum Berlin

Visitors in the exhibition galleries on the evening of the opening.

Photo: Svea Pietschmann; source: Jewish Museum Berlin

The opening of the special exhibition “Forced Labor: The Germans, the Forced Laborers and the War” at the Jewish Museum Berlin

President of Germany at that time Christian Wulff spoke on 27 September 2010 at the sendoff to the international traveling exhibition

More than twenty million men, women and children – natives of almost every country in Europe – were sent to National Socialist Germany as “foreign workers”, prisoners of war or concentration camp inmates, or forced to perform labor in the areas occupied by the Wehrmacht. By 1942 at the latest, forced labor was an integral part of everyday life in National Socialist Germany. Deported from all parts of Europe, particularly the Eastern countries, the workers were deployed throughout the German economy: in armament factories, on construction sites, in agriculture and the trades, in public institutions and private households. Whether a soldier in the occupying forces in Poland or a farmer’s wife in Thuringia, every German encountered forced laborers and many profited from them. Forced labor was no secret. For the most part, it was a crime committed in public.

The exhibition “Forced Labor: The Germans, the Forced Laborers and the War” tells the complete story of this crime and its post-1945 consequences for the first time. It was curated by the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation and initiated as well as funded by the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future.” Christian Wulff, then President of Germany, had assumed patronage of the show. The international traveling exhibition premiered at the Jewish Museum Berlin.

Exhibition opening at the Jewish Museum Berlin

At the festive launching of the international traveling exhibition “Forced Labor. The Germans, the Forced Laborers and the War” on September 27, 2010 in the Glass Courtyard of the Jewish Museum, the speakers* were:

Welcoming address
W. Michael Blumenthal, Director of the Jewish Museum Berlin

Word of greeting
Christian Wulff, then President of Germany, Patron of the exhibition

Remembering and Understanding
Günter Saathoff of the Board of Directors of the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future”

Introduction to the Exhibition
Volkhard Knigge, Director of the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation

Memories of a Former Forced Laborer
Marian Turski, historian, journalist and survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald Concentration Camps

 

* All speeches are only available in German.