Houses of Darkness (2020-2023) is a culture cooperation project co-funded by Creative Europe and a joint initiative of four partners in Norway, Germany, and the Netherlands: Bergen-Belsen Memorial (DE), Camp Westerbork Memorial Centre (NL), Falstad Centre (NO), and the creative producer company Paradox (NL).
Addressing perpetrator perspectives at a Nazi camp memorial site is a contested task. After WW2, the extensive system of camps was transformed to a trans-European network of memorials dedicated to remembering the victims of the crimes. Perpetrator spaces, former camp headquarters and commander houses, imply a challenge to memorials’ teaching and curatorial practices. A need to address the memories of these buildings motivated the project. In a time when war is again at Europe’s doorstep, it is crucial not to keep perpetrator heritage in the dark, risking populist voices claiming their ownership to it. Instead of refusing to take perpetrators’ perspectives, Houses of Darkness uses memorial sites as arenas for enlarging them and debating them together. In exploring what it meant to be responsible for war crimes in the past, we also discuss how our choices and actions in the present – as individuals and societies – shape the world we are living in.