Artist Turns Joseph Goebbels’ House into Installation

Rubble from Goebbel's birth house is to be displayed at a Polish gallery Photo: Johannes Galert via

German installation artist Gregor Schneider has embarked on a controversial new project. Schneider intends to gut the birthplace of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, and then to display the rubble in front of the Zacheta National Gallery in Warsaw, Poland, Monopol reported. The rubble will also be displayed outside the Volksbühne theater in Berlin.

Schneider who, like Goebbels, was born in the town of Rheydt, near Mönchengladbach, bought the house in 2013 after discovering it was for sale on a real estate website. 

Schneider hopes that the project will be thought-provoking, not perceived as an act of sensationalism: “The work should be viewed as a warning and remembrance,” he told the DPA. A spokesperson for the Zacheta National Gallery, Marta Mis-Michalska said about the project, “As a gallery we support the freedom of art.” She suggested that artists of Schneider’s caliber didn’t need to resort to sensationalism in order to transmit their ideas.

Schneider admitted that he feels burdened by the ownership of the historic site. “Whilst this place is merely a birthplace, history has made it a crime scene,” he said. According to the artist, only the skeleton of the house remains. He applied for a demolition permit, but it was turned down because the building is required to stabilize the neighboring house.

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