Documentary Obersalzberg

Berchtesgaden/2014

Obersalzberg is a unique place for German history and the history of National Socialism. It is an ideal-typical “Täterort”, which is marked by an absolute absence of victims of National Socialism. Nothing “happened” at Obersalzberg, nevertheless decisions were taken here that led to the greatest crimes against humanity in the 20th century. The propaganda generated at Obersalzberg is not to be perpetuated. Staging of the National Socialists is not to be repeated. The absence of victims is not to lead to the dramatisation of the perpetrators. Accordingly, the design of the permanent exhibition can neither concern the isolation of perpetrators and deeds, nor the disentanglement of the place and the crimes that where planned here. Instead of generating continued storylines and pointing out individual topics, the design concept is rather prone to demonstrate connections, (power) structures and operating modes. The tour of the new permanent exhibition is clearly predefined by the exhibition architecture; visitor guidance is thereby multidimensional. As a result of the manifold view connections, the juxtaposition and overlapping of different exhibition levels, visitors can constantly establish new textual references. The consequences of the decisions taken at Obersalzberg, World War II, the extermination of the Jews and the assassination of all those that didn’t conform to fascist ideology, are always visible. After a preparatory prologue the visitors start with the three central topics of the exhibition that are located in the “Bruchstück”. Biographies of perpetrators in the form of “Profile Steles” are assigned to the three topic areas. A “Chronology” is running along the outer wall of the exhibition space, depicting local history, aspects of the history of National Socialism and world-historic events. The tour is concluded with an epilogue, a media installation that updates what has been seen in the exhibition and questions the position of the visitors as uninvolved spectators, thereby inspiring them to reflect.