Munich: The City of Unrest

12 May — 12 Jun 2015 at Daniel Blau Gallery in Munich, Germany

20 MAY 2015
ACME · Unknown Photographer, "Rumania´s Premier Visits Hitler", July 24, 1941, silver gelatin print on glossy fibre paper, printed c. 1941, 16,8 (18,1) x 21,6 (22,8) cm, Courtesy: Daniel Blau Munich/London
ACME · Unknown Photographer, "Rumania´s Premier Visits Hitler", July 24, 1941, silver gelatin print on glossy fibre paper, printed c. 1941, 16,8 (18,1) x 21,6 (22,8) cm, Courtesy: Daniel Blau Munich/London

“With the last exhibition at Odeonsplatz 12, I want to add more depth to the presentation in the newly opened NS-Dokumentationszentrum in Munich. I avoid the modern reproduction or enlargement and show only originals from the 1930s and 40s. The original, the print from the time, is the direct link and as such witness and accuser. A reproduction on the other hand allows for distance just like a TV picture and has a much weaker impact.

This is my past and history as well. My grandparents and parents were witnesses and directly affected. I am only indirectly concerned but in the same way one praises ones ancestors positive achievements, negative acts become motivations as well.

What was happening in Germany in the following years had been planned and prepared in Munich from the 1920s. I do not understand the magnetism, which led to the masses simultaneously raising their arms. Just as incomprehensible is the silent acceptance by the largest part of the population of the most gruesome atrocities being committed nearby. At the end of the war many people pretended to be ignorant of what had happened in the concentration camps. When the American and British forces liberated the camps and documented the cruelties as far as they could, they also made the people of near by villages and cities walk by the bodies and look at them. Forced visits to the movie theaters showing documentaries about the concentration camps and presentations of enlarged photographs in churches and sports halls were also obligatory. The originals exhibited at the gallery are witnesses and authentic documents from our darkest days.

These pictures move me deeply and have become part of my thinking. They are part of our past and I do not want to keep them from the public.”

Daniel Blau