Revision of the glass showcases in the “shunt room”

SchubraumThe new concept places the focus squarely on the function of the “shunt room” as the place where new inmates had to undergo an inhuman admission procedure. The SS ordered the recently admitted inmates to strip down and hand over all their clothing and personal effects. Inmates who had to work for the SS administration took their belongings and registered them. In the “shunt room”, the newly admitted inmates experienced the forcible loss of their personal rights and liberties.

Some of the inmates’ original effects from the collections of the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen, and the Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem are to be displayed. These will consist, for instance, of pocket watches, pieces of jewelry, identification papers, or private photos. The belongings will be presented in new glass cases together with the biographical data of their former owners. In addition, historical documents are to be displayed that give an idea of the bureaucratic inmate property administration of the SS. The central theme will be what happened to the inmates’ private possessions after their admission, how the SS handled returning the personal effects in the event of the inmates’ death or release, and the extent to which they got rich on the inmates’ effects.

The new design calls for four cases illuminated on both sides between the five pillars of the former shunt room. The inmates’ effects will be presented on the side of the room where the prisoners in Dachau concentration camp were robbed of their personal belongings. Documents showing the inmate property administration will be visible on the opposite side of the room, where the prisoner functionaries had to officially register the effects of the newcomers under the supervision of the SS.

Here is a selection of inmates’ effects from the inventory of the ITS in Bad Arolsen:

Füller  Malovrh

Fountain pen owned by Viktor Ignac Malovrh
Inmate of Dachau concentration camp, 1945
ITS Bad Arolsen

Taschenuhr Owsjanikow

Pocket Watch owned by Nikolai Owsjanikow
Inmate of Dachau concentration camp, 1944
ITS Bad Arolsen

Photos: © KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau