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
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