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My grandfather was a SS Soldier

Even 70 years after the end of World War II one has to witness signs of right-wing extremism ideas in Germany. Today this appears in the form of burning refugee shelters and demonstrations with anti-foreign paroles.

It is still important to recall the atrocities that were perpetrated during the National Socialist era in Germany. It is estimated, that between 1933 and 1945 5,6 to 6,3 million people, who were defined as Jews by the regime, were killed. My hometown Siegen was one of many starting points deporting people because of their beliefs. I, as a Siegen artist and citizen, consider it to be my duty to contribute to the non-forgetting.

If we want to live in a future society, that doesn’t distinguish people by means of where they come from, what they believe in and what they look like, we have to learn from our history. If we don’t recall, we forget. If we forget, we don’t learn. If we don’t learn, we fail anew.

My installation symbolizes those 41 people of Jewish faith, who were transported from platform 4 of Siegen Main Station on April 28, 1942 via Dortmund to Poland. None of them left the concentration camp Zamosc alive. Until 1944 three more deportations starting in Siegen followed. Those people were not able to flee anymore – they got sorted out.

Over the last months the city of Siegen has started hosting refugees at several locations. I am grateful and proud seeing reports about helpfulness and a welcoming culture predominately. This isn’t the case in all of Germany. To oppose the xenophobic propaganda that emerges in Germany we have to speak up, be loud and consistently set examples. This installation shall be one of them.

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