We recently caught up with group member and artist, Hannah Wilson who is at the centre of the Sobibor excavation dig. The groundbreaking research has led to the geographical identification of the Sobibor Gas Chambers that were previsouly unknown. Excavation of the area was always going to be a sensitive matter for the memories of those who perished and the families who waited for news of what would be discovered. The incredible results of the dig have surprised everyone and offer an insight into the crimes that were attempted to be covered up by the fleeing Nazis in 1943. Hannah explains how she got involved with the project and her views for future handling of rembrance sites.
La Casualidad is an outskirt in all the meanings of the word. Was it here he hid from the Nazi-hunters, the well-known and infamous Dr. Mengele?
The man who used humans as ”animal experimentation” in Auschwitz, and then escaped from Germany in 1945. He was also the dictator Perons guest in Argentina, something no-one knew before now.
A cold high mountain-desert is surrounding me. Without humans, but still not totally empty of traces of civilisation. Everywhere we look, we are passing abandoned houses and a railways that hasn’t seen activity for many years. Nevertheless, nothing has prepared me for what I am about to meet in a small valley between these mountains, 4100 meters above the sea - La Casualidad.
At the end of the war, when the Allies found out about the atrocities committed by the Nazis in occupied Europe, General D. Eisenhower invited the American press to come and see what had happened there: they should have seen for themselves what the Nazi ideology had brought about. The title of this paper is related to the words he said at that time and to the man who felt the urgence to come, see and listen to the testimonies of the survivors.
After the liberation of the camps, many pictures were taken then, several footages were shot which showed the images of thousands of corpses, emaciated and sick prisoners, living skeletons who were lying in the barracks or could hardly walk. These images, which have become widely known since then, were voiceless, though. What the American and part of European public opinion could realize watching them were the effects of an inhuman policy, which seemed to be over, because the war had ended. Of course this was not the case: the Holocaust had affected people not only from a physical point of view, which paradoxically was the easiest to be treated, but also from a psychological and social one. The immediate emotional impact of the images of Dachau, Bergen Belsen, Birkenau, on the world’s public opinion was so strong that apparently there was no room left for any further reflection at that time. The immediate needs and the will to build a better future were, in most cases, stronger than the will to deeper the recent traumatic past.