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Pictures from Kamp, by the Dutch theater group Hotel Modern. The performance, which premiered in 2005, mixes theater, music, video, sculpture and puppetry to portray Auschwitz. Despite some perplexed reactions, mostly revolving around the opportunity of representing the Holocaust through puppets, the performance has met with an overall positive reception in the many countries where it has been shown. The website of Hotel Modern presents “Kamp” with these words:

An enormous scale model of Auschwitz fills the stage. Overcrowded barracks, a railway track, a gateway with the words “Arbeit Macht Frei”. Hotel Modern attempts to imagine the unimaginable: the greatest mass murder in history, committed in a purpose-built city.
The model of the camp is brought to life on stage: thousands of 8 centimeter tall handmade puppets represent the prisoners and their executioners. The actors move through the set like giant war reporters, filming the horrific events with miniature cameras; the audience becomes the witness.

The performance can be seen on the Hotel Modern’s YouTube channel: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.


Puppets of Nazi leaders were largely used in the highly theatrical film Our Hitler (Hitler, ein Film aus Deutschland, 1978) by German filmmaker Hans-Jürgen Syberberg. The seven-hour film can be watched in its complete version on Syberberg’s website (German with English subtitles).


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