Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The deck of cards

Boris Kobe (1905-81) was a Slovenian architect and painter who became a political prisoner in the concentration camp of Allach, a sub-camp of Dachau, near Munich, Germany.
These images are from reproductions of the original cards provided courtesy of the Slovenian delegation (Slovenian Ministry of Education) to the Stockholm International Conference in the year 2000. Reproduction sets of cards were given to educators who attended the Swedish government sponsored conference in order to help identify an aspect of the victimization of one Slovenian political prisoner who became a prominent architect after the war.
A deck of tarok/tarot cards made in the Allach by Kobe most probably after the April 1945 liberation by American forces (see card XXI which depicts liberation and the Slovenian flag, Allach being burned). As a whole, this work of art represents a visual summary of life in a concentration camp, the main vehicle of which consists of Kobe's tragic and humiliating sequences spiced with acrid humor. At the same time, this tiny exhibit is a miniature chronicle of the twilight of humanity brought about by Nazism, which regarded a human being, and therefore the artist himself, as a mere number.
Allach, a sub-camp of Dachau, was ten miles from the main camp and was liberated on April 22, 1945 by American forces, 42nd Rainbow Division
After the war, Kobe did no more work as far as is known about his camp experiences. He was, however, a major Slovenian architect. One of his major projects was the restoration of the Ljubljana Castle. Plecnik was the major architect but Boris Kobe was also involved in creating elaborate plans for the castle...more>>

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