Sonnenhalde (Georg Elser)

On 8 November 1939, Georg Elser from Königsbronn/Baden-Württemberg carried out an elaborate assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler and other high-ranking Nazi leaders at the Bürgerbräukeller in Munich. 62 people were injured and 8 people killed, however, it did not kill Hitler, who left the event in memory of the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch earlier than expected. After being arrested for more than five years, Elser was executed at Dachau concentration camp only less than a month before the end of WW II.

For his intended project, Elser collected an arsenal of 105 blasting cartridges and 125 detonators at the Vollmer quarry in Königsbronn, where he successfully strived for a job in April 1939. In the photograph Sonnenhalde we see the part of the quarry where Elser picked up his explosives. The illuminated tree on the right-hand side may allow us to perceive a picture of the detonation, and the heaps of gravel in the foreground may remind us of covered victims.

In contrast to the conspirators of the 20 July 1944, Elser was barely acknowledged in the official German commemorative culture until the 1990s.


Buchenwald concentration camp, established on Ettersberg hill near Weimar in 1937, was one of the first and the largest of the concentration camps in Germany. Prisoners came from all over Europe, among them Jewish people, Poles and other Slavs, Romani people, political prisoners, and prisoners of war. The poor conditions, as well as deliberate executions, led to more than 56,000 deaths at Buchenwald of the 280,000 prisoners who passed through the camp and its numerous subcamps. Buchenwald was finally liberated by the United States Army in April 1945. Between August 1945 and 1 March 1950, Buchenwald was the site of a Soviet special camp where former Nazis and anti-communist dissidents were imprisoned. Over 7,000 of them became fatalities.

The photograph Blutstraße shows the bell tower of the later GDR Buchenwald National Memorial, built of light sandstone between 1954 and 1958. In its entrance hall there is soil and ashes from other Nazi concentration camps under a sealed bronze plate. The memorial is the burial place of thousands of concentration camp prisoners, and is now the largest monument in memory of a National Socialist concentration camp in Europe.