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A Dress Full of Color and Joy

for the 'Rubble Women' Memorial

Crocheted with over 100 women / Performance with the OpenSpace PerformUnion

Presented as part of the 48h Neukölln Festival 2009

Berlin, Germany

 

 

                                           

 

The 'Trümmerfrauen' (rubble women) were the women who cleaned up the rubble in Berlin and other cities in Germany in the aftermath World War II. Tens of thousands of women did this backbreaking work and thus made it possible to rebuild.

 

The 'Trümmerfrauen,' some of whom did this work for many years, received no pension benefits  from the state for their service in helping rebuild Germany. In former West Berlin, they are honored by only this one single monument, which was created by Katharina Singer and erected in 1956. 

 

   

   

 

 

To give people a sense of how difficult the work of the Trümmerfrauen truly was, during the action, visitors had the opportunity to pick up a hammer and remove mortar from old bricks just at the Trümmerfrauen did. This action also turned into an opportunity for parents to speak to their children about World War II, and the destruction with which it ended.

 

The average Trümmerfrau was supposed to clean 400 bricks per day, and received extra pay for any additional bricks that she also managed to knock free of mortar, preparing them for use in new building projects. Over the two-day action documented here, the some 50 individuals who picked up a hammer only managed to clean a total of 300 bricks.

 

It would not have been possible to realize this action without the invaluable assistance of Heike Kujus and the generous support of Antike Baumaterialien Rainer W. Leonhardt.

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   
                                       

 

 

 

 Photos: Elo Landgraf


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