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“Without Any Hope of Return.” Deportation Gathering Points in Hamburg

[Translate to English:] Collage aus verschiedenen Fotos
left: Masonic lodge on Moorweidenstraße, around 1930. right: "Square of Jewish deportees" with the Masonic lodge at Moorweidenstraße in the background, 2024.

A photo installation in the "Fuge" at denk.mal Hannoverscher Bahnhof, 27 April–31 October 2024

The photo installation, “Without Any Hope of Return." Deportation Gathering Points in Hamburg shows photographs of former deportation gathering points at the memorial site of the denk.mal Hannoverscher Bahnhof in HafenCity from 27 April to 31 October 2024.

A free brochure with more information is available to download and at the information pavilion on Lohseplatz (open daily from 12-6pm).


The installation presents Fruchtschuppen C (‘fruit shed C’) as a collection point for the deportation of Sinti and Roma to the Belzec Death Camp in May 1940 as well as five locations that were used at different times as gathering points for the deportation of Jews: the lodge house on Moorweidenstraße, the former Jewish Community Centre on Hartungstraße, the former Schanzenstraße Primary Schools in the Schanzenviertel district, the former Jewish Community Centre on Beneckestraße, and the Talmud Tora School in Grindelhof.

On display are historical photos from Hamburg archives of North German deportation gathering points as well as current photos of the locations taken by photographer Miguel Ferraz Araújo from similar perspectives. The presentation of the six two-by-four metre photos can be seen in the “Fuge” between Lohseplatz and the memorial site.

The deportations were linked to many places in the Hamburg metropolitan area and other towns and cities in northern Germany. Many throughout northern Germany observed the arrests, the people herded together at the gathering points, and the transports by police van to the Hannoverscher Bahnhof railway station. Before the deportations, those affected were ordered to the gathering points by the Gestapo or the Kriminalpolizei or were taken there by force. For most, the hours or even days spent in these places signalled the beginning of a journey through ghettos and camps. Most of them were murdered.

The title, "Without Any Hope of Return," is taken from a memoir by Alice Kruse from Hamburg, who was deported to the Theresienstadt Ghetto on 14 February 1945. Alice Kruse, née Nauen, came from a Jewish family and was baptised the year she was born. She was married to a non-Jewish man. She had to leave her husband and seven-year-old son behind when she was deported. She survived and returned to her family from Theresienstadt in 1945. In 1969, she recorded her memories of her deportation in a memoir.

This quote by Alice Kruse as well as other quotes from those affected accompany the photos of the former deportation gathering points to show what the forced stay in these places meant for deportees.

The project is part of a series of installations that will be shown until the opening of the "denk.mal Hannoverscher Bahnhof" Lohsepark documentation centre.

The photo installation will be presented on 27 April 2024 at 7 p.m. as part of the Long Night of Museums and will then be on display in the "Fuge" for three months.

[Translate to English:] Hamburg-Karte mit 6 blauen Punkten
Map with memorial places
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