«Falstad is a place for remembering, a place for learning, a place from which to go forward. Wiser, more engaged, better equipped. For the only possible meaningful comment on an experience such as the exhibition ‘Face to Face’ at Falstad is the following: We shall never forget. We will not be silent.» (Foreign Secretary Jonas Gahr Støre, May 2007)
The Falstad Centre’s permanent exhibition
Our main exhibition, «Face to Face», displays the history of SS Strafgefangenenlager Falstad and the national socialist system of camps it was part of. First opened in October 2006, the exhibition links the two topics around which our activities are concentrated: WWII prison history, and human rights. In the world of today «Face to Face» serves an important dual function of being a place for encounters as well as a place for learning.
Falstad’s place in the overall system of camps
Falstad prison camp was part of a vast network of internment and concentration camps scattered across Europe. How did Nazism emerge and gain a foothold? What was the background for the establishment of the camp system? In the first part of the exhibition, the history of the local camp at Falstad is integrated into a national and international perspective. In the second part we focus on the prisoners. Who were they? What did they experience during their internment, and how have these experiences influenced them? Through texts, objects, sound recordings, and images we introduce you to their stories.
The exhibition also draws links to our own time, showing the emergence of the United Nations and a growing focus on human rights. Did we learn anything from the suffering imposed during WWII? «Face to Face» concludes by highlighting the urgent current issues of genocide and crimes against humanity.
About the exhibition
Jon Reitan, historian at the Falstad Centre, wrote the texts for «Face to Face». The exhibition was designed by LPO Architecture and Design.