Revision of the glass showcases in the “shunt room”

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 In addition, historical documents are to be displayed that give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