»The Bible«

»8 Objects – 8 Fates« – panel 9

The little book is bound in brown leather. On the spine of the book, the golden Gothic lettering reads “Stuttgarter Jubiläums-Bibel” (Stuttgart Anniversary Bible). Only the pages inside the brown leather cover of the bible reveal more about its owner and her fate. Many individual passages were underlined and are evidence for the conscientious study of the texts. In addition, many pages are strewn with handwritten annotations: dates, notes on incidents, such as “doctor shot II.VI.1942”, and repeatedly the words “ghetto” and “concentration camp”.

The bible belonged to Hilde Schneider who, as a Jew of Christian faith, was part of a small minority in the Riga ghetto. Her bible, which she had taken with her to Riga, was therefore all the more important to her. It took on the function of a diary and was the last connection to her Christian faith. During this time, Hilde Schneider also chose her personal life verse that gave her strength:

“You thought evil against me; but God turned it into good.” First Book of Moses 50:20.

Hilde Schneider was able to keep the bible, at the risk of her life, during the entire time of the deportation, in the Riga ghetto, in the concentration camp Kaiserwald, and during the evacuation of the camps. The time of the persecution had strengthened her faith. After the liberation, she studied theology and worked as a prison pastor.

Today, Hilde Schneider’s bible is in the care of Dieter Zinßer who, as the head of the “Henriettenstiftung” (Deaconess hospital and nurse training facility), had established contact with the former deaconess student. Hilde Schneider is buried at the cemetery of the “Henriettenstiftung” in Kirchrode.

Picture credits

Hartmut Schmidt: Zwischen Riga und Locarno, Berlin 2000, p. 93.


Hartmut Schmidt: Zwischen Riga und Locarno, Berlin 2000.


Exhibition: 8 Objects – 8 Fates
Duration: From 11th December 2016 to 7th January 2017
Location: Bürgersaal im Neuen Rathaus Hannover
Panel: 9 from 10 – The Bible
Size: 650 x 2050 mm
Technique: Digital print on Alu-Dibond