Sunday, January 31, 2010

Exhibit and Website: Dora and the V-2: Slave Labor and the Space Age

The history department is proud to be collaborating with colleagues in the art and art history departments and the College of Liberal Arts at UAH to organize an upcoming exhibit "Dora and the V-2: Slave Labor in the Space Age."

The exhibit will be on the campus of UAH from February 21 to March 12, 2010. The exhibit has an accompanying website, and received major funding from the Alabama Humanities Foundation.

Both the website and the exhibit explore the history of forced labor in the construction of the V–2 missiles at the Dora concentration camp and Mittelwerk underground factory near Nordhausen, Germany, during World War II. The stories center on the victims of Dora, the prisoners from many nations who were forced to work in the camp and its sub-camps and in the underground factory assembling the V–2. Usually, especially in Huntsville, Alabama, the V–2 is remembered through the engineers who designed it, rather than the forced laborers who put it together. Yet the prisoners died by the score or lived through dehumanizing cruelty, and their experiences deserve to be remembered.

The exhibit features:
  • First U.S. showing of work from two European museums:
  • La Coupole, History and Remembrance Center, Saint-Omer, France
  • Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp Memorial and Museum, Nordhausen, Germany
From La Coupole:
  • Color photos of V–2 forced labor taken by Hitler’s favorite photographer
  • Artwork created by Dora's victims and survivors
From Mittelbau-Dora Museum:
  • "Forced Labour for the 'Final Victory': Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp, 1943-1945," a new traveling poster collection
  • Artifacts
From UAHuntsville:
  • Snapshots taken by John Rison Jones, a resident of Huntsville who helped liberate Dora and documented its horrors with his camera
There are also associated talks by pre-eminent experts from France, Germany, and the United States.

Please check out website and stay tuned to our Events blog for reminders of Dora-associated lectures and performances.  There is also a Facebook Group page.

The website will remain after the exhibit closes as a testament to the suffering of the slave laborers of Dora.

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