Dr. Jochem Helbeck at the entrance of the
U of M's Archives & Special Collections
Dr. Hellbeck's talk centered around his partly historical, partly artistic project, in which he was deeply involved over the past year. He (together with Emma Dodge Hanson, a photographer from Saratoga Springs, NY) traveled to Russia and Germany in November 2009, to visit about twenty of the last surviving veterans of the battle of Stalingrad in their homes. Over the course of several weeks of interviews and picture-taking he was able to generate a large number of personal portraits and testimony. This unique project demonstrated the workings of two different memory cultures: the haunting shadows of loss and defeat on the German side, and the culture of national pride and sacrifice in Russia.
The lecture was well attended, and included both members of the university and external communities