Between 1939 and 1945, it is estimated that Nazi forces hanged more than 4,000 German women of different ages in Berlin. Probably they were sentenced to death by the “Peoples Court” and executed within prisons, by the commandants of concentration camps, or executed straightaway by military commanders. These executions happened usually in public. The “Peoples Court” was a special court established in 1934 by Adolf Hitler.
The court had jurisdiction over a rather broad array of “political offenses”. These crimes were seen by the court as a “disintegration of defensive capability" and were therefore punished cruelly. A tremendous amount of cases led to the death penalty, including this huge amount of women. Hanging was the preferred method for the execution of partisans as it produced more of a public spectacle than shooting. It was also used to terrorize the local populace as well as to entertain the troops. Some of these executions were photographed, through hidden snaps taken by individual soldiers. These photographies were later re-discovered and saved for documentation.
Concentrating on one woman’s case, whom were sentence to death for her political action of writing NO on the walls of Berlin. A political statement through the medium of street art that I re-enact in a studio set environment focusing on the multiplicity of the word and the naming of the 4,000 murdered women in a visual and audio performance-installation.
Research & performance Ellinor Ljungkvist
Production management PACT & Atelier
Sound- and video editing Anna Ljungkvist
Voice Verena Hahn
Photography Dirk Rose
Premier PACT Zollverein Performing Arts Choreographic Centre NRW & Atelier - Platform for Experimental Arts Germany 2016 and shown at Lindesberg Art Festival Vinterspår and The Fringe Festival Göteborg 2018
Thanks to The German Memorial Center, Atelier - Experimental Platform for the Arts & PACT Zollverein Performing Arts Choreographic Centre NRW for research- & production support.