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Forced Labor

The Germans, the Forced Laborers, and the War

So-called "Adrema plates" used by the German authorities to manage the mass employment of forced laborers. © Buchenwald Memorial Collection, Weimar, Photo: Peter Hansen

In Germany during World War II, forced laborers were exploited on nearly every building site and farm, in every industrial enterprise, and even in private households. Over 20 million men, women, and children were taken to Germany and the occupied territories from all over Europe as “foreign workers,” prisoners of war, and concentration camp inmates to perform forced labor.

The exhibition “Forced Labor. The Germans, the Forced Laborers, and the War” provides the first comprehensive presentation of the history of forced labor and its ramifications after 1945. The historical exhibits and photographs explore the relationship – defined by racism – between Germans and forced laborers, offering insight into its many varying manifestations. They also show how forced labor was part of the Nazi regime’s racist social order from the outset: The well-propagated concept of the included – the “Volksgemeinschaft” or people’s community  – functioned in tandem with the forced labor of the excluded.

Exhibition opens

27 September 2010


28 September 2010 to 30 January 2011


Old Building, 1st level


Link to the site (produced by the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation)

This exhibition was created by the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation at the Jewish Museum Berlin, initiated and sponsored by the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future.”

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