1.   Jochen Weber  Retracing – Places to Remember

Hidden Views: Spurensuche – Orte der Erinnerung

For this series I was looking for special places and sites in Stuttgart whose significance and history we should not forget but which we no longer notice in our everyday lives. “Places to Remember” turned into a way to retrace history against oblivion, a warning sign of remembrance of possibly the greatest crime of humanity. 

Mahnmal Engelbergtunnel, Leonberg

During World War II the Engelberg motorway tunnel in Leonberg was closed for traffic and from 1944 onwards was used as a factory for the Messerschmidt AG instead. Approximately 3,000 prisoners were deported from the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp in Alsace to Leonberg where they were forced to assemble aircraft wings in inhuman conditions. 374 of them lost their lives. Shortly before the end of the war all the machinery was removed and the two tunnel sections were blown up. Most of the survivors died on the death march towards Bavaria. Today a memorial commemorates the victims. A steel wall was erected into which the names of the victims have been cut in with a laser.


Gebotstafeln in der Synagoge, Stuttgart

During the pogrom night of November 1938 the synagogue in Stuttgart’s Hospitalstrasse was set on fire by the Nazis. The fire brigade only saved the neighbouring buildings and the synagogue had to be completely demolished a few days later. 15 Jews were brought in from concentration camps for this dangerous work. The bricks from the synagogue were sold to local wine growers to build vineyard walls, and the Gestapo pocketed the proceeds. Of the old synagogue only the commandment tablets and the memorial to the dead soldiers of World War I were saved. They were re-erected in the new synagogue built in 1952.


Memorial “Zeichen der Erinnerung” (Signs of Remembrance)

Thousands of Jews from Stuttgart were deported from the city’s North Station to the concentration camps in Riga, Izbica, Auschwitz and Theresienstadt. Only few of them survived. The silent witnesses of these atrocious entrainments – the tracks, the sleepers, the buffer stops – are still there. The place itself has been turned into a memorial. It is meant to be a sign of hope for a world without violence, a sign of confidence, of tolerance and peace.