To commemorate the outbreak of World War One, Osnabrück-based artist Volker-Johannes Trieb has set up a walk-through installation at the ThyssenKrupp Quarter in Essen. The work of art entitled “Auf dem Feld die Toten” is located on the green space on the corner of ThyssenKrupp Allee and Altendorfer Strasse and will be on display from July 29 to August 13. Its 20 x 20 meter footprint stands for the 20 million victims of World War One. On it stand 32 oak blocks symbolizing the 32 signatory nations to the Treaty of Versailles. The blocks bear quotations from chapter six of Erich Maria Remarque’s novel “All Quiet on the Western Front”. The wood used in the installation is from battle sites near Hirtzbach in Alsace. The work is surrounded by a red and white barrier tape with the inscription “Und langsam häufen sich auf dem Feld die Toten” (“And slowly the dead pile up in the field”) from Remarque’s book. The installation in Essen is part of a series by the artist. Further installations by Trieb will be displayed in Osnabrück and other German cities.
“The work of art is a reminder of the unfathomable horrors of the First World War and a place to commemorate the victims. It is also a call to us and future generations to remain vigilant and take responsibility for peace in Europe,” said Dr. Donatus Kaufmann, member of the Executive Board of ThyssenKrupp AG.
ThyssenKrupp was aware of the questionable role played by the then separate companies Thyssen and Krupp in both World Wars, said Kaufmann. For many years the Group has openly and actively supported historians and archives in analyzing the history of Thyssen and Krupp. The Krupp Historical Archive is also providing documents and objects for World War One exhibitions in the centenary year of 2014, including the exhibition currently running at Ruhr Museum in Essen “1914 – Mitten in Europa” (1914 – In The Middle of Europe”).
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