“There: Echoes of Memory” is a sound installation in the open passageway between the exposition of the Bergen-Belsen Memorial and the border of the former camp site. It accompanies the visitor with historical recordings along the path between documentation and site.
Please use headphones to watch the video below
The installation consists of historical audio fragments from 1945 (directly after liberation) to 2011 (present times). While visitors walk along the 80m long passage, these fragments sound and reflect with intervals from four different locations in the corridor space, making use of its distinct reverberation as well as the silence of the landscape itself.
The fragments and their source locations are chosen with respect to historical date and their inherent perspective: public voices that called for commemoration (such as speeches and reports on recent education programs) are placed at the end of the passageway that is closer to the entrance and world outside the memorial, while recordings from immediately after liberation (freed surviving adults and children) sound from the passageway’s other end, next to the former perimeter fence where once the camp lay behind. Spanned between these ends, brief fragments of music, interviews with survivors during past decades and present-day visitors mark the personal processes between liberation and more than 60 years of remembrance.
The sound installation was part of the activities to commemorate the 60 year anniversary of the memorial in november 2012 and coincided with the opening of the audiovisual installation “Here: Bergen-Belsen, Space of Memory” at the Anne Frank entrance square of the memorial. The installation has since been running as part of the memorial’s permanent exhibition.
Concept: Sytse Wierenga, Habbo Knoch, Paul Verschure
Artistic Production: Sytse Wierenga
Technical Installation: Alex Escuredo, Sytse Wierenga, Stefan Wilbricht, Eberhart Stimpel
Historical Advice: Habbo Knoch, Thomas Rahe, Martina Staats, Katja Seybold, Stefan Wilbricht
Funded by the European Commission’s 7th Framework programme ICT Future and Emerging Technologies (258749-CEEDS) Additional funding by the EU’s Europe for Citizens program, Action 4 – Active European Remembrance.
SPECS and the Bergen-Belsen Memorial foundation would like to thank the BBC Sound Archives, London NDR, Hamburg for granting us permission to use their audio content.