»The Suitcase«

»8 Objects – 8 Fates« – panel 5

Divergent from the other seven objects, presented in this selection, the suitcase stands for an ensemble of objects that were of utmost importance to Norbert Kronenberg.

The contents of his suitcase were parts of his library which originally comprised at least 338 bound books as well as numerous small brochures. After the so-called “Operation Lauterbacher”, Norbert Kronenberg was forced to relocate to the “Jews’ House (Judenhaus) Lützowstraße 3” in September 1941. Here, Jews were only entitled to three square meters of living space per person, and Norbert Kronenberg had to leave his books behind.

His suitcase also contains a collection of information on the subject of emigration. Nearly all of the possible destination countries for Jewish emigrants are represented in the suitcase: The most significant piece of information was the “list of my household goods for relocation to Australia” from April 12th, 1939.

“My household goods for relocation” refers to Kronenberg’s fiancée Elsa Rosenbaum whose preparations for her emigration in 1939 were further along than Norbert’s.

Norbert Kronenberg’s suitcase stayed in Hannover. He stored it with the family of his employer Radio-Menzel with the expectation that he could get it again after his deportation to Riga. The suitcase was kept in the Menzel/Schlüter family.

Today, the suitcase is a strong testament to the futile hopes of Norbert Kronenberg and the other 1000 Riga deportees at the start of 1941 in Hannover.


Exhibition: 8 Objects – 8 Fates
Duration: From 11th December 2016 to 7th January 2017
Location: Bürgersaal, Neues Rathaus, Hannover
Panel: 5 from 10 – The Suitcase
Size: 650 x 2050 mm
Technique: Digital print on Alu-Dibond