Frederike Helwig | Anne Waak
“What did my parents experience when they were as old as my son is today? What made them what they are today?” These are the questions the photographer Frederike Helwig and the author Anne Waak examine in her project, Kriegskinder.
People born in the late 1930s and early 1940s, who grew up during World War II, are now in their eighth decade of life. Here, they look back and talk — some of them for the first time ever — about what marked them: bombs, flight, fear, hunger, illness, missing fathers, overwhelmed mothers, and the silence of the post-war era, when it was thought that memories of the war and its intergenerational consequences should be forgotten.
“The people portrayed had the courage to stand before the camera and tell their stories. Most of their recollections are anecdotal, with varying degrees of selfreflection. Trauma or transgenerational consequences are rarely addressed, and hence reflect the usual silence that continues to this day. Readers are therefore required to read between the lines, to reflect upon their own family histories, and to begin discussing the worst chapter in German history.” writes the author Alexandra Senfft in the foreword of the book Kriegskinder.
The project shows forty-four analogue portrait photos of a generation whose memories will soon vanish. Juxtaposing numerous childhood recollections with the portraits of the witnesses results in a complex image of the generations during the Nazi era.
An exhibition in cooperation with Hatje Cantz Verlag.