Wagon-exhibition “Berlin-Riga. One way ticket” is a result of sucsessful colaboration between Riga’s Ghetto Museum with German and Austrian museums and archives. It keeps the history of 25 000 Jews from the Western Europe who were departed to Latvia. Story of a great lies, these people were promised a life: a hard one, uncomfortable, far away from the homeland, but still a life. On the unique archive photografhs given us from the collection of the museum «Baden-Württemberg” we can see, that the passengers are carrying bags with the most valuable things or the something, related with the priceless memories. Some of the people on these shots are even smiling: they are going to leave places where friom the ordinary citizens they became outcasts, persecuted and lost all their rights. They were on the way to their new home – unwanted and uncomfortable, the one, where they should start their lives from the zero, but still, they were riding to the new life, but came out in the deep forest near the Riga to die.
Following the departed Jews enter the wagon, to find (instead of the narrow compartments) endless forrest. There you will find hundreds people just like you: lost, confused, betrayed.
This exhibition is not about the hard life in ghetto, or cruel, inhuman murders. It is about a moment of silence, threshold in mind, when the wheels of the wagon stopped tapping, before the Polizei started shouting and dogs – barking. It must be very silent inside the wagon to hear the crunch of the crashing hopes.
The group of the international researchers from Latvia, Germany and Austria have collected the passenger lists from the trains that brought departed Jews to Riga, all the date about their future fates was researched and a database was created. Studio «Futureperfect” worked out a unique design – laconic causing but causing even stronger empathy. Around 150 people were working on this exhibition, and we hope that it won’t leave you indiferent.
The project « Berlin-Riga. One-way ticket. In memory of those who never came back » was funded with the support of the European Union under the Programme “Europe for Citizens”