DER MENSCH IST EIN SCHÖNER GEDANKE. VOLKHARD KNIGGE UND BUCHENWALD
Siegfried Ressel | Germany 2017 | 85 Min. | OmeU
What kind of societal relevance does a memorial place of a former concentration camp have 72 years after the end of the war? The historian Volkhard Knigge has been the director of the Buchenwald Memorial Foundation for the past 20 years. Time and again he reflects upon the meaning and significance of this place of remembrance. When it comes to the Holocaust, his stance goes against a pure frugalness of rehabilitating the sensitive topic but encourages a continuous attitude of discomposure to keep the memories of the crimes committed by the National Socialists alive – also under the proposition that history cannot be cured. The film is, together with Knigge’s reflections, an approach to Buchenwald’s scene of crime as we perceive it today, based on its emptiness, its aesthetics and its constructional fragments.
The architect Karina Loos has described the buildings and facilities of the former concentration camp in terms of their functionality – these texts are read by Corinna Harfouch. An own cinematic level develops additionally, also due to her linguistic laconism which illustrates how Weimar’s Ettersberg, “an ordinary place, turned into something murderous” (V. Knigge).