Hamburg in the early Fifties was a place full of ruins. On the right picture, you see me sitting on giant ship chain links. The second view is taken from the tower which you can see in the 1st picture.
Ruins must have been a familiar sight to me. Children take all kinds of circumstances as normal, they are incredibly flexible.
I only remember one of these ruins because it was half a kitchen, it was in a house right opposite to where my grandparents lived, and I kept wondering what happened. The table was still there, an old coal stove stood at the wall, and rain and snow came in.
At the moment I'm working on a picture performance as part of a memorial project for our district parliament. The intention is to commemorate names, faces (if possible) and facts about the lives of murdered neighbours.
You may have heard of the project "Stolpersteine" ("stumbling stones"), brass plaques with the names of victims of the 3rd Reich. It is the idea of a German sculpturer, Gunter Demnig, who has undertaken this gigantic work of placing one plaque with name and life dates for every victim in the pavement near his/her home of the past. It is like these pledges people take in fairy tales in order to free someone they love from bondage or as a work of expiation. A task that seems to be too big to ever be finished. And this is what Gunter does, on his knees, in any kind of weather, day by day, year by year.