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Heimrad Bäcker
it is possible that they won’t kill us and they might allow us to live*

12|11|2020-06|06|2021

The exhibition “Heimrad Bäcker. it is possible that they won’t kill us and they might allow us to live” will feature the photographs in the estate of Heimrad Bäcker, which have been housed at mumok (Vienna) since they were bequeathed as a gift in 2015. These more than 14,000 images testify to Bäcker’s lifelong confrontation with the Holocaust. A selection of photographs, notes, texts and found objects will be shown in the exhibition. Many of Bäcker’s photographs were taken long before there was any public attempt to address Germany’s Nazi past. They show former concentration camps overgrown with plants or deliberately repurposed. Bäcker’s photographs and found objects will be shown together with Tatiana Lecomte’s sound work A Murderous Noise and Rainer Iglar’s series of photographs “Mauthausen 1974”.

Particularly relevant for the current work of the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism – especially for the development of a “living memorial site” at the former forced labour camp in Neuaubing – is Bäcker’s documentation of a moment of transition when former forgotten or ignored victim sites for the first time started to play a new and central role in the public perception as memorial sites.

An exhibition by the mumok – Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien in cooperation with the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism.





*Quoted in Heimrad Bäcker, nachschrift 2, ed. Friedrich Achleitner and Thomas Eder (Graz: Droschl, 1997), p. 5. Bäcker quotes the diary entry of an unknown author in the Łódź Ghetto of July 25, 1944, in Unser einziger Weg ist Arbeit. Das Getto Lodz 1940–1944 (Frankfurt: Löcker, 1990), p. 268.




Online opening

Due to the pandemic, the exhibition was opened online with video greetings from Florian Roth (City Councilor of the City of Munich), Anton Biebl (Head of the Cultural Department of the City of Munich) and Mirjam Zadoff (Director of the Munich Documentation Center).



Insights into the exhibition

In small teasers we give insights into the exhibition on various topics. We take a look at the “forgotten place” of Mauthausen, show the finds that Heimrad Bäcker came across during his forays and we deal with his literary work “nachschrift”.


Past events

09.03.2021, 7 pm
Architecture as Evidence – The Case of Auschwitz
Online lecture by Robert Jan van Pelt


View into the exhibition

View of the exhbition | Photo: Connolly Weber
View of the exhbition | Photo: Connolly Weber
View of the exhbition | Photo: Connolly Weber
View of the exhbition | Photo: Connolly Weber
View of the exhbition | Photo: Connolly Weber
View of the exhbition | Photo: Connolly Weber
View of the exhbition | Photo: Connolly Weber
View of the exhbition | Photo: Connolly Weber

 

 

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