Presentation elements

The entrance to the exhibition is located in the west-wing of the former maintenance building, directly opposite the first panel of Nandor Glid’s International Monument from 1968. The starting points of the Monument and the exhibition entrance have been chosen deliberately: where the prisoners were once forced to enter the concentration camp, today’s visitors shall, in freedom, be able to relate to the path the prisoners took. While the International Monument exemplifies how the site of the former concentration camp is today a place for remembering and commemorating terror, suffering, and survival, the main exhibition presents historical information and explanations. The presentation elements used in the exhibition inside the building are banners (featuring biographical information on the prisoners and prisoner groups) and panels (explaining the historical background).

Explaining the historical buildings, sites entwined with the fate of the prisoners, is a key element of the exhibition. Remnants of the original buildings are therefore highlighted: “room information” (inside the building on glass panels) is provided explaining the historical function of the “authentic location”.

Ehemaliger SchubraumTwo rooms are given special consideration in the exhibition: the “Schubraum” and the prisoner baths. Both these rooms were of particular importance in the degrading and brutal procedure prisoners had to endure upon arriving at the concentration camp. Desks were set up in the middle of the “Schubraum” (“Schub” = prisoner transport) and the prisoners had to line up one up at time. Once they stood in front of the desk they were forced to undress completely and hand over everything that connected them to their lives up until now –Ehemaliges Häftlingsbad clothing, identity documents, and valuables. The exhibits in the display cases recall this violent process. Naked the prisoners were forcibly moved on from the “Schubraum” to the prisoner baths. There their bodies were shaven completely, treated with a disinfection solution, and showered: a procedure that purportedly served hygiene purposes but also humiliated the prisoners. The remnants of the original prisoner baths still discernible today reveal the historical spatial structure. Information is also provided on the horrifying punishments meted out here by the SS.