"Window Lever, Camp Clinic"
TITLE - "Window Lever, Camp Clinic"
WHERE - Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, Oranienburg, Germany (2015)
A visit to Sachsenhausen reveals with what rigorous thoroughness its designers stripped the camp's buildings and grounds of any semblance of beauty, of any visual gestures from which prisoners might draw uplift or that might spark hopeful recollection among both victims and tormentors of a refined civility beyond the camp walls. During my exploration of the camp grounds - now preserved as a museum of mostly barren yards marked off by barracks outlines on the ground - I could locate only one tiny glint of grace: the quietly elegant, almost arts-and-crafts-like design of the window levers in the otherwise horrific camp clinic. In hindsight, alas, the latch also resembled a noose.