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Zimzum Issue 1

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Zimzum Issue

issue n o . i Founder and Editor in chief Hadas Tapouchi Proofreader Frances Mossop Graphic Designer Ella Ponizovsky Bergelson A U T U M N 2 0 1 7 FREE CRIME SCENES IN EUROPE During WWII, an extremely complex network of forced labour was established in Germany and German-occupied Europe Hadas Tapouchi D uring WWII, an extremely complex network of forced labour was established in Germany and German-occupied Europe. The forced labourers and prisoners of war (POW) living in those camps were forced to work in a various industries. They produced goods for the German war effort and construction materials for the Reich and the occupied territories. These settlements would constitute the nerve centres of the “Thousand Year Reich”. In Berlin alone, there were 3,000 sites that used forced labour, or in which forced labourers and POW were hosted or kept imprisoned. The characteristics of the forced labour industry during WWII bears all the hallmarks of a global network of forced labour. After WWII, most of the camps were destroyed, converted for different usage, or rebuilt. They became cafes, schools, galleries, institutional buildings, parks, museums, sport fields, or just open, abandoned surfaces. TODAY, THOSE PLACES HAVE BECOME CAFES, SCHOOLS, GALLERIES, INSTITUTIONAL BUILDINGS, PARKS, MUSEUMS, SPORT FIELDS, OR JUST OPEN, ABANDONED SURFACES. IN SOME CASES, THE LOCATIONS CONTINUE TO BE USED BY THE SAME COMPANIES THAT MADE USE OF THEM DURING THE WAR. Concentrations camps, as they developed after the outbreak of the war, would gradually become sources of slave labour for the German war machine. As the German forces began to retreat from the East in 1943, with the Allied successes in Northern Africa and Italy, a large pool of slave labour became essential in both production for the war effort and in maintaining agriculture, industry and services back in the German Reich. For the most part, slave labourers were ethnic Poles and Russian speakers. However, from 1943 onwards, the Germans began “reimporting” Jews from the ramps at death camps to work as slaves in the Reich. Joining the slave labourers from the east, there were hundreds of thousands of workers from the occupied Low Countries and France. Wartime emergency laws gave the authorities a perfect cover to maintain slave workforce. Lerchenfeld, a former Nazi built district home to the Hermann-Göring Mills, both of which were built by prisioners of war and forced labour workers. Photo: Hadas Tapouchi, Krems 2017 A class system was created amongst Fremdarbeiter (“foreign workers”), starting with well-paid workers from Germany's allies or neutral countries, to forced labourers from conquered so-called Untermenschen (“subhumans”) populations. UNDER THESE CATEGORIES, A STATE (REGIME) CAN CONTROL ANY EXISTING HUMAN RIGHTS The list was organised into categories: a Guests Workers from the countries that were not allied with Germany a Military internees - prisoners of war b Civiliant workers c Eastern workers b Forced Workers c Being responsible or irresponsible regarding people’s rights while avoiding any compensation, it was a very profitable form of human trafficking; even more so than penal labour. One of the biggest examples in Berlin is the Autobahn network, realized during the second and the third phases (1938-1942 and 1942-1945) by the Todt Organisation. The organisation was able to draw on “conscripted” labour from within Germany through the Reich Labour Service (Reichsarbeitsdienst, RAD). The submarine factories also resulted in a strong economy, producing a net of prisoners all over the Reich: Bremen, Hamburg, Kiel, even as far as Bergen (Norway) and Bordeaux (France). Through this method, the framework was activated systematically and sustainably; to recover from the catastrophe, the catastrophe became inherent to daily life, and the labour became a routine. Forced labour industry extended into various areas, such as the production of electrical components and weapon materials, e.g. V-2 rocket parts built for Siemens. THE IMPORTANCE OF ART PROJECTS FOR THE AWARENESS OF HISTORY Angeliki Douveri D uring prosperous times, as the ‘80s and ‘90s were for Greece, regardless of whether it was real prosperity or a bubble that finally burst, history tends to be hidden as it cannot be a pleasant subject for anyone. Especially in Greece, history - and let’s just look at the 20th century - is a bloody and painful subject, involving oversimplified ideas of the “good” and the “bad”, which of course alternates depending on which side you’re standing. Is a work of art a real artwork until it is viewed by the public? Probably not. Does a personal testimony have any historical value until it is noted and published by historians? Definitely not. Can art help history overcome a national trauma? How does that work? Yes, it works as a tool for discussion, as an opportunity to bring the past into contemporary discourse, as a gentler way of sourcing the facts and all the detailed stories around them. It may also work as a way of therapy or catharsis once the pain has been dealt with. This makes the importance of art projects that approach history all the more important. History tends to be hidden, as it cannot be a pleasant subject for anyone Tapouchi’s “Transforming” project in the region of Rethymno, Crete, revealed a tremendous lack of historical documentation of facts that took place only a few decades back. It seems like the deeper the wound is, the bigger the silence. This may be a cultural choice of not passing on the trauma, of allowing the offspring to be happier. But history cannot be escaped. It runs in our blood, it forms our being, even if on a subconscious level. By not dealing with it, in reality we prolong the pain rather than avoid it. 2 8

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