»8 Objects – 8 Fates«

An exhibition by the state capital Hannover

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the deportation to Riga, the Municipal Culture of Remembrance Office in Hannover presented the exhibition "8 objects - 8 fates ... of 1001 deportees to Riga." This supplementary reworking of the exhibition from 2011 put "objects" in the foreground without neglecting the necessary background information: Selected objects were shown for eight selected biographies of Riga deportees.

75 years after deportation, after moves in response to persecution and after the Holocaust, after the destruction and reconstruction of the synagogues in Germany, after the bombing during the war and mass movements of refugees in Europe, 8 objects belonging to deported individuals could be found - a Bible, a bicycle, a suitcase waiting for the return of its owner, decorative plates, silver cutlery, a photo of a father in exile, a doll taken on the flight to England, and a camp prisoner’s uniform.

The objects lend a confer a certain intensity on the biographies presented, and the materiality of the object opens another perspective on the fate of an individual and their family: the exhibit belonged to the person themselves, meant a lot to them, and sometimes helped them through a difficult time in the ghetto or afterwards. At the same time, an object attracts the visitors‘ gaze. By linking family history and the "object's fate", the object acquires - depending on the viewer - a heightened significance. And quite incidentally, the individual fate extends into our present through the longer "lifetime" of the objects.


The complete story of the deportation can actually only be told in 1001 biographies. For obvious reasons, completeness is not achievable in this case, because of the extermination of entire families and the destruction of their belongings during Nazi rule. One indispensible method for overcoming the gaps of incompleteness is an exemplary presentation – beginning here with eight objects.

In addition to their material value, the objects have an ideal value. They are preserved long after their material and practical value has been lost. Presentation in showcases enhandes the objects‘ exibition value. In the display cases, they become "museum pieces" for a limited period of time. If this appreciation of value contributes to keeping alive the memory of the Riga deportation and of the families who were "expelled" to their deaths, the exhibition will have achieved one of its goals.