Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten Mahn- und Gedenkstätte Ravensbrück

Insights into the work of Arnold Dreyblatt

Photographs from the research and the rehearsals (Photos: Arnold Dreyblatt)
Photographs from the research and the rehearsals (Photos: Arnold Dreyblatt)
Photographs from the research and the rehearsals (Photos: Arnold Dreyblatt)

For the exhibition at the house of the female guards, artist Arnold Dreyblatt has developed a two-part film-installation: Two actresses instruct the visitors via monitor and give advice particularly to women on how to raise their children and how to conduct themselves 'appropriately' within society.

At the centre of this artistic work are the educational methods used in the NS community (“NS Volksgemeinschaft”). The quotations collected in the work were researched from books and magazines from the 1930s, such as the “NS Frauenwarte” and several other guidebooks, which were supported by Nazi propaganda and were influential for education under National Socialism.

The question of the after-effects of such methods after 1945 forms the core of the work, using the example of Johanna Haarer's guidebook on infant care “The German mother and her first child”. Published in 1934, the book was conceived as an essential reading for the “mother training courses” of the Nazi leadership. Until the 1970s, Haarer's book, in a version cleansed of National Socialist propaganda, could be found in nearly every household of the German Federal Republic.

The works of Arnold Dreyblatt have been shown and performed in galleries, museums and public spaces. Permanent public works can be seen at the HL Holocaust Center in Oslo; the Jewish Museum in Berlin; the Stasi Memorial Berlin-Hohenschönhausen and the Ravensbrück Memorial. In the fall of 2020, his memorial to the burning of books at Munich's Königsplatz will be inaugurated.