Exhibition Modules


In the stairway of the Jewish Museum visitors encounter the various aspects of forced labor during National Socialism.

Source: gewerk design, Berlin

Accommodation. Violence and Ostracism before the War.

The propagated “people’s community” of the Germans and the forced labor performed by those excluded from it were two sides of the same coin. The mechanisms of forced exclusion were frequently exercised in public for all to see.

Source: gewerk design, Berlin

Mass Phenomenon. Forced Labor in the German Reich.

After the failure of their blitzkrieg strategy, the Germans had thirteen million individuals deported to the German Reich to perform forced labor. These persons entered a hostile environment: only a small percentage of Germans encountered them with respect and compassion.

Source: gewerk design, Berlin

Former Forced Laborers Remember.

Today former forced laborers play an important role as witnesses to the crimes committed. In their statements they stress the importance of making the international experience of forced labor a core element of the European collective memory.

Source: gewerk design, Berlin

Radicalization. Forced Labor in Occupied Europe.

In the countries they conquered, the German occupiers applied the methods already learned and practiced domestically to exclude and exploit all persons considered racially inferior. Self-appointed “members of the master race” thus had “worker nations” slave away for them abroad as well.

Source: gewerk design, Berlin

Liberation. Coming to Terms with Forced Labor and its Consequences.

The surviving forced laborers were liberated in 1945. The Allied victors rightfully condemned the National Socialist forced labor program as a crime. At the same time, they worked to help millions of deportees return to their home countries. However, questions regarding compensation to former forced laborers were not addressed.

Source: gewerk design, Berlin

Exhibition Design

The aim of the exhibition – to convey a comprehensive history of National Socialist forced labor – is a challenging one. It is to be achieved with a concentrated selection of representative individual cases presented in all depth and translated into striking images.

As a result of research work carried out all over the world, unique material largely unknown to the public to date can be presented in the show. With the aid of exceptionally close-meshed source material, it has proven possible to reconstruct historical events and fates in detail. The exhibition presents the latter in the form of condensed scenes providing visitors access to history on the basis of original testimonies. Viewed together, the spectrum of individual representative scenes forms an overall picture of National Socialist forced labor conveying its character as both a mass phenomenon and a crime of society.

Exhibition design, architecture and coordination
gewerk design, Berlin
Art direction: Jens Imig, Stefan Rothert, Birgit Schlegel
Exhibition architecture: Jens Imig, Johannes Gotaut, Jan Leisse
Production and project manager: Klaus Fermor
Production coordinator: Ann-Christin Warntjen
Exhibition graphics and graphic designs: Birgit Schlegel
Typesetting: Klaus Böhm
Media production: Marten Suhr
Media coordinator: Lester Balz

Exhibition construction

Walther Expointerieur, Coswig

Media planning and production / Video production

artavi Kamratowski + Pisarz GbR, Berlin

Lighting design

Light-Tool Lichtdesign, Falkensee

Exhibit Arrangements

Thomas Fißler und Kollegen, Niederschöna
David Adam, Peter Borucki, Olaf Brusdeylins, Daniel Klawitter, Falk Lehmann

Audio production / Recording:
speak low – Krewer & Teichmann GbR
Direction: Vera Teichmann, Harald Krewer
Sound design: C60 Studio, Christian Mevs
Voice over artists: Eric Hansen, Ulrike Hübschmann, Christa Lewis, Michael Rotschopf, Clayton Nemrow


Bildpunkt Druckvorstufen GmbH, Berlin; Bild1Druck GmbH, Berlin

Digital printing

Bild1Druck GmbH, Berlin; Lissowski Werbung, Radebeul; Novak Siebdruck, Berlin


Schein Berlin, Daniel Porsdorf, Berlin; gewerk design, Birgit Schlegel, Berlin

Model construction

Sehen + Verstehen, Peter Götz, Munich

Databases and Webdesign

werkraum.media, Dirk Koritnik and Frieder Kraft, Weimar
fastvisions.design, Robert Radermacher, Berlin

Educational materials / Press information

werkraum.media, Frieder Kraft, Weimar

Design of the exhibition’s companion volume

werkraum.media, Frieder Kraft assisted by Christian Brüheim and Ralf Jehnert, Weimar

Intervention in public spaces (Publicity)

Anke Heelemann, Weimar