Made in Germany / work in progress

The brand "Germany" enjoys the best reputation worldwide. Germany is the proud export world champion with its companies. One of them, the Volkswagen Group, is currently the world's largest car manufacturer. Its topos, a Volkswagen vehicle is DAS Auto, as propagated by an advertising slogan, is even being promoted by the recent Emission scandal and not disturbed. The creation of the brand "Germany" dates back to the end of the 19th century. At that time England ordered the German machine manufacturers to make the label "Made in Germany" visible on their products. The reason for this decision was the English's fear of competition from low-quality products from "cheap Germany". After the foundation of the German Werkbund in 1907, among others by Hermann Muthesius, the situation gradually changed. Thanks to the far-reaching reforms of the arts and crafts and the educational system introduced by this organization, German products gained an increasingly reputation. Even before the First War, "Made in Germany" was no longer a symbol of cheap goods but a symbol of quality. The spectacular successes of German architecture and design in the interwar period, to name only the phenomenon of the Bauhaus, helped the brand "Germany"to establish worldwide as modern. Also in the time of the "Third Reich" this image did not lose its aura. The motorway programme or the "Volkswagen" project were developed in accordance with the Second World War and testified to the efficiency and innovation of the German economy. Their important support in the "Third Reich" was forced labor. According to the Buchenwald and Mittelbau Dora Memorials Foundation, the number of forced laborers employed in the Nazi industry between 1939 and 1945 reached up to twenty million. These people were employed in Germany and in the occupied countries of Europe. A large part of them were literally working themselves to death. According to the German Historical Museum, for example, more people died during the production of the V2 rocket than were killed by the use of the "Wunderwaffe ". The Nazi slaves were not only employed by the state administration, either directly or indirectly, for the tasks important to the war. In 1990 Martin Weinmann published in his book "Das Nationalsozialistische Lagersystem" an incomplete list of nearly 2500 German companies which profited from forced labour during the Second World War. Among them are well-known brands and company names whose profile clearly refers to the civil economy; from agriculture through chocolate factories to municipal utilities. The list can now be viewed on the Internet (including the web page of the German-Jewish online magazine "").

"Made in Germany" is a photographic analysis of the products of German companies from the period 1939 to 1945, which were produced with the help of forced labourers. The slave system of the Third Reich is thus indirectly examined on the basis of the aesthetics of its economic artefacts. All photographs of objects will be accompanied by short descriptions of their manufacturers and historical facts of the participation of these companies in the program of forced labor in the Third Reich.