Disappearing Wall – with messages that remain
To commemorate the victims of the Holocaust on the occasion of the 83rd anniversary of the anti-Jewish pogrom of November 9-10, 1938. An interactive art installation featuring quotes from survivors of the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora concentration camps and their subcamps.
On the night of November 9-10, 1938, synagogues burned all over Germany. Countless Jewish stores and houses of worship were set on fire and looted, many people were arrested, mistreated and killed. In Dresden, too, the Jewish community and its synagogue on the Hasenberg were victims of attacks and destruction. As in many places in Germany, the National Socialist regime controlled this night of pogroms centrally, in Dresden directly from Dresden Town Hall. Subsequently, 151 Jewish men from Dresden were deported to Buchenwald concentration camp.
83 years later, the State Capital Dresden, the Goethe-Institut and the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation invite you to the Goldene Pforte of the New Town Hall in Dresden. With the unveiling of the art installation Disappearing Wall on 09.11.2021 at 10.00 a.m., the victims of the Holocaust and National Socialist crimes will be remembered.
6,000 wooden blocks bear messages from nearly 100 survivors of the concentration camps Buchenwald, Mittelbau-Dora and their subcamps. The Buchenwald concentration camp maintained a total of 139 satellite camps, many of them also in present-day Saxony, such as in Torgau, Leipzig and Markkleeberg. The blocks with quotations are placed together in a plexiglas construction to form the wall, but are removable and make the messages of the survivors visible.
Visitors to the installation are invited to take these words home with them: You can pull out blocks, discover quotes, read them and take them with you.
The wall will gradually empty out and disappear – but the messages from the survivors will be passed on.
This adapted version of the Disappearing Wall was presented for the first time in Germany on April 11-12, 2021, at the Theaterplatz in Weimar on the occasion of the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora concentration camps by the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut.
The installation is based on an idea proposed by the Russian student Maria Jablonina. The first Disappearing Wall was displayed by the Goethe-Institut in Moscow in 2013 on the anniversary of Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union. In 2015, the Goethe-Institut brought the installation to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Be’er Sheva for Germany-Israel year. In 2020, the installation appeared in 16 European cities as part of the official cultural programme of the German federal government for Germany’s EU Council presidency. In these previous stations, the blocks carried quotes from high and pop culture and stood for linguistic and cultural diversity.
On 9 and 10 November 2021, the wall will disappear in Dresden. The thoughts of nearly 100 survivors of National Socialist crimes will be passed on. Among them are well-known personalities such as Imre Kertész, Stéphane Hessel or Eugen Kogon, but also many who are not in the public eye. The quotes provide insight into the survivors' personal experiences, and also reflections on what the rupture of civilization means for the future of social co-existence. That is why they can also be read as a legacy for future generations.
The Disapperaing Wall will be open to all visitors daily November 9-10, 2021, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Town Hall Dresden in front of the Goldene Pforte.
This project is made possible thanks to the State Capital Dresden, the Goethe-Institut and the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation.
The lasting messages can also be discovered digitally here. With the help of short biographies, you can also learn more about the people who have left these messages for us.
You can simply click on the digital "blocks" or enter the names of the quote givers in the search window.
An interactive art installation featuring quotes from nearly 100 survivors of the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora concentration camps and their subcamps.
09 November 2021: Unveiling - in front of the Goldene Pforte, Town Hall Dresden