Gerd Landsberg

»Deported to their Deaths« – panel 23 – Biographies

In his liberal family, Gerd Landsberg (1926-2011) was taught: “All human beings are equal” and “Thou shaltlove thy neighbour as thyself”. It therefore anguished him that he could never be certain which of his fellow sufferers in the concentration camps he could trust. For decades, he also was tortured by the “self-reproach whether he had done everything right.

The most terrible phase of his ordeal was the last transport to the concentration camp Dachau. When the dead were removed from the train, “I secretly devoured grass”. Gerd Landsberg has no memories of his liberation. When he woke up in the American military hospital, he “could not even swallow anymore (…); I couldn’t do anything anymore.

His departure to the USA fell through because of an illness. Until 1956, the long-term effects of his time in the concentration camp repeatedly forced him into hospital treatment: “Whenever I had just started something new professionally, the next health crisis occurred”. Trust in his environment developed “definitely only in the 1960s, not before that.” His nightmares only lessened in the 1970s, when he started to confront his experiences. However, he was annoyed that the former tormentors drew pensions without any problem, while their victims had to wait for decades for their compensation payments.

Picture credits

Region of Hannover, Gerd Landsberg


Exhibition: Deported to their Deaths
Duration: December 15th, 2011 to January 27th, 2012
Location: Neues Rathaus Hannover, Bürgersaal
Panel: 23 from 39 – Gerd Landsberg
Size: 650 x 2050 mm
Technique: Digital print on Alu-Dibond