Author Archives: Gideon Unkeless

About Gideon Unkeless

Recently founded the nonprofit organization Projected Memory after spending a year in Berlin, where he worked at the Sachsenhausen Memorial Museum. He has worked for arts nonprofits, was a Fulbright scholar to South Africa, and graduated from Wesleyan University with a self-designed major in Pedagogy Studies. He can be reached at gideon [at] projectedmemory [dot] org.

Projected memory: reflections on one year’s work at a memorial museum in Germany, and an initiative that aims to remind us how we remembered

In the summer of 2011, I made a day trip to the Gedenkstätte Sachsenhausen memorial museum on the grounds of a former Nazi concentration camp and later Soviet detention center. Like many others, I think, I had wanted to see a former concentration camp for some time for vague, hard-to-articulate feelings. What would I feel while on site? What of the physical grounds remained in place? Which narratives were emphasized and which relegated to the periphery?

Dressing a skeleton

On a recent trip to Berlin I visited KZ Sachsenhausen, a former Nazi concentration camp located just an hour north of the city. It was a beautiful day—high summer in Berlin, in the mid-seventies with a slight breeze—and the treetops, visible over the camp’s reconstructed fence, bobbed in the wind. The tour bus pulled into a large gravel parking lot across from tidy stucco houses with drawn blinds and trimmed gardens. An older man dressed in shorts and an open shirt rummaged around in his tool shed and emerged with a pair of gardening shears.