Fence Exhibition  

The Representation of Lower Saxony in Berlin has made its fence available to the International Auschwitz Committee.
Young German and Polish colleagues from Volkswagen in Wolfsburg, Hanover and Poznan joined with Polish vocational school students from Bielsko-Biala, the twin town of Wolfsburg, to set up the ‘fence exhibition’ dedicated to the memory of the German-Jewish artist Felix Nussbaum and his wife, the Polish-Jewish artist Felka Platek. After years fleeing from the Nazis, emigrating and living in exile, they were both arrested in Brussels and deported to Auschwitz. The deportation train that was carrying them arrived in Auschwitz on 2 August 1944. They were murdered immediately on arrival.
In December 2013, The International Auschwitz Committee began telling the Internet story by Christoph Heubner ‘find felka, find felix’ recalling the fate of the two artists. The fence exhibition throws an additional spotlight on the lives of the couple in this process of remembering.

For the opening of the exhibition, the young people prepared an action with flyers informing passers-by at the neighbouring Holocaust Memorial about their work at the Auschwitz Memorial centre in May 2014 and their participation in the exhibition: “When talking with survivors of the camp at the International Youth Meeting Center in Auschwitz, it became very clear to us that all of the victims had names and faces, each of them was a human being with his or her own life story, hopes and dreams – including Felka Platek and Felix Nussbaum. We are taking part in the fence exhibition, because the memories of the crimes of Auschwitz, of the faces of the victims and of the survivors are important to us, and because we do not want to forget: for the sake of our present and of our future.”
The exhibition was opened by State Secretary Michael Rüter, the Plenipotentiary of the Land of Lower Saxony to the Federation, who thanked especially the young people and Volkswagen AG for their committed efforts with the International Auschwitz Committee and Christoph Heubner. Mr Rüter stressed: “We are proud to be able to present these exhibition panels at an unusual site. They are in just the right place opposite the Holocaust Memorial. And the fact that a group of German-Polish young people are commemorating this pair of artists from Germany and Poland is a special symbol to us. Memories need young people to embrace them and carry them forward. And this is why we are especially grateful to you.”

Photos: Bernd Oertwig