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audioscript on the persecution and annihilation of Jews in Dresden 1933 - 1945. A city walk in 13 Tracks

press release (November 2009)

We invite you on a city walk to the history of the persecution and annihilation of the Jews in Dresden 1933-1945. The 'audioscript' is an audio production that enables an engagement with (city) historical, philosophical and artistic discourses on the Shoah in 13 tracks. It leads the listeners via mp3-player on a tour of the city to a number of sites that illustrate the anti-Semitic persecution under nation socialism as well as the ways it is perceived and reflected today. The individual tracks have different thematic focuses and artistic concepts. Some approach the places essayistically or by bringing specific perspectives together. Others make use of fictional dialogues which outline current everyday discussions about the national socialist period.

What is always shown is the history of the particular place and the crimes which took place there. Two coordinates serve the discussion beyond the specific place: the individual's experience of suffering is ascribed a position of strength by using autobiographical material contrary to the hegemonic historical discourse prevalent here. The suffering experienced corresponds with quotations from a critical theory that does not historicize Auschwitz, but regards it as a fracture point in civilization and takes this as the starting point for all philosophical thought.

The 'audioscript' deliberately does not conform with conventional conceptions of audioguides to the history of the persecution of the Jews during National Socialism: The first breach exists in the waiver of a chronological depiction of the history of events. The conception of the 'audioscript' is the attempt to antagonize a museum like conservation and its resulting historification.

The main focus lies on an analysis of German society during National Socialism, the passing-on and reception of that tradition, as well as on making its continuities up until today subject of the analysis: an easing antisemitism, antizionism and rejection of responsibility. Finally it formulates a criticism against the conventional praxis of commemoration, which only finds itself in the presence of memorials and authentic artefacts of the destruction/annihilation.

The 'audioscript' bears the term 'script' to give significance to two aspects: On the one hand to the exemplary character of the sites of the atrocities and on the other to the impossibility of a complete historical analysis in regard to the voids within the available evidence. It marks the sites of crime and annihilation within the urban perimeters of Dresden. But it is important for us to stress that these markers do not lead to the conclusion that these were the sites on which the crimes of the Nazis took place exclusively. They merely resemble a selection.

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