Barred window from an isolation cell in a camp along the Salekhard-Igarka transpolar railway, early 1950s. Photo: Peter Hansen. "Memorial", Moscow

Gulag: Traces and Testimonies 1929–1956

An exhibition of the "Memorial" Society, Moscow and the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation in cooperation with the Schloss Neuhardenberg Foundation. Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

Current exhibition dates and more detailed information are available on the official website of the exhibition.

The exhibition is the first one in Germany to present relics of and testimonies to the Soviet camp system collected by the "Memorial" human rights organization all over the former Soviet Union from the 1980s to the present.

The exhibition project seeks answers to the following question: How can the Gulag – a penal camp system already referred to by its contemporaries as the "quintessence" of Soviet tyranny – be described, how can it be comprehended in all of its dimensions? Voices of people who experienced it first-hand and biographies of former inmates accompany visitors on their exploration of this remote archipelago and create a panorama of the Soviet camp system. Objects from the "Memorial" holdings – for example a makeshift bread pouch, a tattered dress or a metal grave tag – make the everyday lives of the camp inmates tangible. The exhibition website presents a selection of significant objects and biographies.

The project was overseen by Prof Dr Volkhard Knigge, director of the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation, and Dr Irina Sherbakova, director of the educational programmes of the human rights organization "Memorial", Moscow. The scientific board of trustees of the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation supervised the production of the exhibition with regard to content. Its members are internationally acclaimed historians and museum professionals.