In 1933, 170 of the 5 000 residents of the village of Schöneiche near Berlin were Jewish. A few years later the Jewish neighbours had vanished, and other people had moved into their homes. Did this go unnoticed? Who organized the disappearance of these people, and what happened to their furniture, their bicycles, and their household goods? The bureaucratic network organizing the expropriation and robbery stretched from the mayor, the district administrator, and the district council through to the regional president, from the second-hand shop owner and the removal company to the purchasers and the new occupants.
Who is interested today in learning that 4 000 Russian and Polish forced labourers had to work in a ammunition factory in the forest of Clausthal-Zellerfeld filling anti-tank mines? While the threat posed to the drinking water supplies of Lower Saxony as a result of the contamination of the soil in this part of the Harz mountains is a hotly discussed political topic, the history of the people who were forced during the Second World War to work with highly toxic chemicals when making explosives and munitions is ignored. I am not concerned with showing how special such a place is, but rather how ordinary it is.
Merseburger Str. 12