Carnival of Hell  

The First World War and the Senses

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Carnival of Hell

The First World War and the Senses

»Fastnacht der Hölle« (Carnival of Hell) – this is how the writer Ernst Jünger describes his impressions of the First World War. Picking up on this image, the exhibition focuses on the direct emotions of the persons, their experiences and perceptions, during the first industrialized, global war.


Interested in a virtual tour? Click here for the 360° panorama view.

Five sensory points form the beginning of the exhibition and simulate specific sensory impressions based on samples: how this war tasted, how it smelled, felt, looked and sounded. The exhibition is centered around three large showcases, in which authentic, personal exhibits from the First World War are located in their settings; the frontline, the base and the home front. Experience reports of persons concerned – chronicled in letters and diaries – appear as weightless, ephemeral projections, layering the more than 400 objects. A calendar, extending from the first to the last day of war, frames as a chronological band of light the whole exhibition, which is immersed in a subdued lighting effect. The epilogue illustrates the still today visible consequences of war. It dismisses the visitors with a projection of the Somme craters.



Haus der Geschichte Baden-Württemberg





involved parties

Lighting design: LDE Belzner Holmes
Exhibition construction: KeBau
Photography: Lukas Roth