Daimler worked with Deutsche Bank to promote an exhibition featuring works of art from Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust memorial.
In spring 2016 the German Historical Museum put 100 works of art from the Israeli memorial Yad Vashem on display for the first time in Germany, in partnership with the foundation Bonner Stiftung für Kunst und Kultur e.V. and on the initiative of the German BILD newspaper. The unique "Art from the Holocaust" exhibition was sponsored by Daimler and Deutsche Bank. "Art is a powerful response to repression and terror," stressed Walter Smerling, the foundation's CEO and a film-maker. "This exhibition serves as a reminder to uphold human dignity as the inviolable core of our existence."
The exhibition mainly showed drawings made on paper by prisoners in various different concentration camps, labor camps and ghettos. They were often produced secretly and under inhumane conditions, where the risk to life was high. Of the 50 artists whose work was on display, 24 were murdered by the Nazis.
The artists drew and painted while their lives were at risk in an uncompromising act of resistance. Some depicted the atrocities and indignities that they suffered, while others resisted the growing dehumanization by emphasizing the individual and the internal workings of the soul
Yad Vashem hopes to reach a broad target audience and to facilitate a dialog on the subject of the Holocaust. That is why the Remembrance Center puts on touring exhibitions in order to maintain the exchange of ideas.
"The pictures from Yad Vashem provide an impressive demonstration of what art is capable of: defending humanity even under the most inhumane of conditions. For me, this exhibition is an impressive reflection of the strength and freedom of the human spirit. This is a freedom that can never be broken," said Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars in the preface to the exhibition book "Art from the Holocaust, 100 works from the Yad Vashem Remembrance Center".
Through its sponsorship, Daimler is making it clear how important it is to come to terms with the past. It is a learning process for today and tomorrow. The subject of the Holocaust is kept alive by moving contemporary sources. The indomitable human spirit is made visible and tangible.