With: Herman Helle, Arlène Hoornweg, Pauline Kalker
An enormous scale model based on Auschwitz-Birkenau fills the stage. Overcrowded barracks, a railway track, a gateway with the words "Arbeit Macht Frei". Hotel Modern attempts to imagine the unimaginable: the greatest mass murder in history, committed in a purpose-built city.
Onstage, thousands of 3-inch tall handmade puppet prisoners and their executioners bring the scale-model camp to life. The actors move through the set like giant war reporters, filming the horrific events with miniature cameras: the audience becomes the witness.
"The makers have found a dramatic form that makes it possible to once again discuss this charged subject. They raise the issue of the extremes to which people can go, and they do so with sincerity."
NL newspaper Volkskrant
"All the realistic elements contribute to a performance that is so gripping hat when it ends the audience is unsure whether to applaud or leave the theatre in silence."
NL newspaper Noordhollands Dagblad
"The inanimate bodies of the puppets acted upon and manipulated by the human operator drove home the fact that human hands also performed the events of the Holocaust, and it forced the audience to bear witness to the consequences of human cruelty in a new and vital way."
"It works, I think, precisely because of the artificiality, the stylization of the performance. The details evoke reality, often to horrifying effect, without trying to mimic it. Puppets can seem more real than actors, because they leave more to our imagination."
New York Review of Books
Kamp premiered in 2005 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and was performed in several countries in Europe, and in Australia, Japan, the United States of America and Canada.