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Rudolf Carl Ripper (1905-1960): „Millions and Millions“ from the cycle „Écraser l’infâme!", 1936, dry point etching (GuMS).

Écraser l’infâme!

Artists and the concentration camp - the art collection of the Sachsenhausen Memorial


So far, art from the concentration camps has mostly been regarded as a historical source, so that the artists could not emerge from the shadow of their concentration camp imprisonment. The special exhibition "Écraser l'infâme!” tries to break new ground. It also presents works created in the concentration camp as art and sheds light on them in the context of the artists' entire oeuvre. Thereby, the effects of the incisive experience of imprisonment in a concentration camp are being examined as well.

More than 150 selected works by the artists Jan Budding, Peter Edel, Hans Grundig, Leo Haas, Vladimír Matêjka, Rudolf Karl Ripper, Viktor Siminski, and Karel Zahrádka are shown. The works of art created in the camp or immediately after imprisonment are assigned original works before and after the period of imprisonment.

The artists' oeuvre is embedded in their respective biographical backgrounds, which are illustrated by a georeferenced representation of their biographies. These can be experienced individually and intuitively in the exhibition via touchscreen PCs and can also be viewed on this page.

The exhibition is a cooperative project of the Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum, the Centre for Persecuted Arts Solingen, the Institute for Modern History and Historical Migration Research at the University of Osnabrück and beier+wellach projekte (Berlin). The project is sponsored by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes and the Förderverein der Gedenkstätte und des Museums Sachsenhausen e.V.

Following the presentation at the Sachsenhausen Memorial, the exhibition will be shown in 2019 at the Terezin Memorial (Theresienstadt) and at the MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow as well as in 2020 at the Centre for Persecuted Arts Solingen.



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Researcher & Contact

Christoph Rass (UOS)

Malte Schwickert (UOS)

Mirjam Adam (UOS)