Ratthaus Schoneburg: Berlin, Germany

Wir Waren Nachbam

An exhibition of 131 biographical albums documenting the lives and sufferings of Jewish citizens of Berlin Schoneburg and Tempelhof. One album is devoted to the life of the artist’s mother Hildegard Basch

It was triggered by my mother Hildegard Basch’s late-life unburdening to me of memories of her formative years in pre-war Berlin. My study has become a 25 year excavation, it re-enacts a piecing together of maternal testimony, traces and archival evidence to enter a lost world and reclaim something of the lives of the family who perished before I was born.

‘He explained to me that neither a tourist visa nor emigration visa would be given to non-Aryans in Germany, unless they had special protection and had confirmation from the foreign office. And even then, nowadays there would hardly be a reasonable chance. I said – and how come that yet still a number of people manage to go over there? He said either through protection or via foreign countries. I said he should at least give me a hint how I could get there via a foreign country.’
from a letter to Hildegard‘s Grandfather Felix Berlowitz 18th October 1938