SCHLACHTEN | Heimatvertriebene| Image © Dorota Nieznalska

Heimatvertriebene (Expelled from their Native Lands)

Heimatvertriebene (expelled from their native lands) 2014
German doors: Lędyczek (ger. Landeck),
Sopot (ger. Zoppot),
Piłaki Wielkie (ger. Gross Pillacken),
Pawłowice (ger. Pawlowitz), Wroclaw (ger. Breslau),
Bydgoszcz ger. Bromberg
Lębork (ger. Lauenburg )
steel construction,
video with sound, 13 min/loop,
archival materials.

In the first half of the XXth century, after the end of World War II , there was the largest forced migration of the population in the history of Europe.

From the autumn of 1944, about 12 to 14 million Germans from Eastern, Central and South-Eastern Europe were condemned to misery, poverty and loss of homeland. The most significant expulsion, in terms of quantity, included German provinces of East Prussia, Pomerania,Silesia, Brandenburg, City of Gdansk and the Germans from the former West Prussia and Warta Country. Expulsion affected mainly women, children and eldery people. The population fled in front of the Red Army who were flooding the borders of the German Reich and treating the civilians in the most ruthless and brutal way. More than two and a half million people died of starvation, were frozen, shot, raped and beaten to death on the way to the West. Those, who remainded alive and reached Germany, had to lose their homeland or some part of it, for ever.


Installation: – Heimatvertriebene (expelled from the native lands) refers to the situation of forced expulsions residents of towns and villages from the Polish territory in the period from 1944 to 1950.

The concept of Heimat, in this case the starting point. The project is an attempt to define a literal loss of land, home and family, through the use of brute force, violence (which was the personification of the Red Army). The symbolic reference losing home, are abandoned, wooden interior door. The original old German remains, unwanted “foreign” assets have been collected in 2014. With former German homes (now Polish), with areas of increased in the postwar years, the migration of the German population, .: East Prussia (Ger. Ostpreußen), West (Ger. Pommern ), Country Warta (Ger. Wartheland), Silesia (Ger. Schlesien), Lower Silesia (Ger. Niederschlesien).

Individual wooden doors (total of 22 pieces of different sizes) will be pierced and hopes for suspended on the wall two steel structures. Two steel elements relate to spear-form gallows, as a symbol: masculinity, power, law, property, violence, death, destruction, martyrdom.

SCHLACHTEN | Heimatvertriebene| Image © Dorota Nieznalska
About Dorota Nieznalska

Graduate of the Faculty of Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk. She lives and works in Gdansk. She has participated in over one hundred individual and group exhibitions at homeland and abroad. Her works are in public and private collections at homeland and abroad. In 2013. she received a PhD at the Department of Sculpture, Intermedia direction at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk. She works as an assistant in the studio of Trans Disciplinary Faculty of Sculpture / Intermedia at the Gdansk Academy of Fine Arts.

She realizes work in the field of sculpture, installation, photography, video. In her early works she used the religious symbols, among others. The problem of a strong Catholic tradition prevailing in Poland was connected with male supremacy in society. She moved as themes of identity, sexuality and stereotyped roles for men and women. Currently, she is interested in issues of social and political relations in the context of violence. She implements research projects on the sites of memory, the traces of memory / oblivion and history.

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