Concept | Design

The exhibition concentrates on the core Gulag period from 1929 to 1953/56. Rather than offering a comprehensive overview, its aim is to present key documents and significant original artefacts, including visual material such as historical photos and artworks executed in the Gulag, to spark the widest possible public interest in this theme. A prologue sheds light on the emergence of the Soviet camp system under the conditions of radical transformations in society after the October Revolution of 1917. In the first section of the show, the model of Tatlin’s Tower serves as a symbol of the new society. Large, open display cases reminiscent of file cabinets then allude to the stops along the way to the camp – arrest, interrogations and transport, as well as the factors determining life there: forced labour, the composition of the inmate population, hunger, disease, dying and death. A subsequent section addresses the dissolution of the camp system after Stalin’s death, the treatment of the Gulag topic in present-day Russian society, and the work of the human rights organization “Memorial”. The objects, documents and photographs on view are not only contextualized by explanatory texts, but also accompanied by the striking accounts of first-hand witnesses to the circumstances in question. A special section of the exhibition retells the history of the Gulag in condensed form from the victims’ perspective: it reconstructs the biographies of various persons who all have Gulag imprisonment in common, while the differences between their fates bear testimony to the erraticism of Stalinist persecution.

Exhibition design

Atelier Hans Dieter Schaal, Attenweiler: Hans Dieter Schaal

Execution planning | Site management

Ps.Planungsstudio, Biberach a. d. Riss: Sebastian Schröter

Exhibition construction

Vitrinen- und Objektbau KeBau GbR, Marbach: Hans-Ulrich Bauer, Udo Keppler
Construction of Tatlin’s Tower model: Jürgen Steger, Kassel

Exhibition graphics | Media design

lahaye tiedemann gestalten, Ulm: Dominik Lahaye, Maike Tiedemann, Natalya Seemann
Assistants: Lioba Geggerle, Christine Hochstrasser

Media production

2av, Ulm
Project head: Katrin Jedon
Interaction design, programming, media engineering: Jens Döring
Media design: Caroline Fischer
Motion design: Stefan Müller
Narrators: Wilhelm Schlotterer, Ulla Willick


Schein Berlin: Daniel Porsdorf; lahaye tiedemann gestalten, Ulm

Wood restoration

Wolfgang Schitke, Weimar – Tröbsdorf

Design of companion volume | Web design

werkraum Media, Weimar: Frieder Kraft, Dirk Koritnik

Press and public relations

Dr. Philipp Neumann-Thein, Sandra Siegmund, Sarah Koch (Weimar)


Antje Hitzschke