AFGANG 04.00 (DEPARTURE 4.00)
A deportation of completely ordinary people from a completely ordinary trainstation in Denmark, oktober 1943
The 12th of October 1943, in the evening, 175 men, women and children with Danish-Jewish background was brought to Helsingør station from the Horserødcamp.
These were people who hadn’t been successful in escaping to Sweden, earlier that month, when Sweden had opened its borders for fugitive Danish Jews. Instead, they were apprehended by the German occupational force. On the station in Helsingør, they were locked in the 2nd class waiting-room, by the Danish station personnel. Here they were situated for a long time, until a special train arrived, commissioned by DSB, to transport them the first part of the way to Theresienstadt KZ-camp.
Afgang 04.00 was based on this rather unknown historical event, and was performed at the authentic crime-scene, Helsingør Station. The piece combined site-specific elements with advanced 3D sound-technology, music composed, and recorded for the occasion, and text based on authentic documents and testimonies, recorded voices and light/video-concept that followed the rhythm of the music and voices.
The result was intense and intimate before an audience of 35. A compressed prosses, that marked the night between 12th and 13th of October explored the questions: How do one relate to an uncertain fate? What thoughts runs through a human mind, on a night like this? Which situations, memories, dreams and connections come to the fore? How do humans act and react in moments and hours, where they have nothing to say, regarding of their fate?
The deportation from Helsingør station had severe impact on the lives of the involved. AFGANG 04.00 was about the vulnerability then, but depicted emotions, experiences and thoughts, that made a bridge to the present vulnerability.
AFGANG 04.00 presented artists from, Denmark, Sweden, Croatia, Slovenia and Germany.
Idea, textual fragments & Direction: Petra Berg Holbek
Music & Sound-composition: Juliana Hodkinson
Space, video & light: Igor Vasiljev
Dramaturg: Amelia Kraigher
Voices: Lisbeth Sonne Andersen, Henrik Birch, Hans Henrik Clemensen, Marie-Louise Coninck, Evelyn Verge Elnegaard, Kristian Halken, Lene Kreilgaard, Johannes Lilleøre, Thomas Magnussen, Christina Meincke, Merete Nørgaard, Anja Owe, Benjamin Boe Rasmussen, Ina-Miriam Rosenbaum, Judith Rothenborg, Dan Schlosser & Michael Lundbye Slepsager
Andreas Borregaard, accordion
Timo Kreuser, conductor
Sirje Viise, soprano
Meredith Nicoll, alto
Magnús Hallur Jónsson, tenor
Jonathan Boudevin, bass
Binaural sound consultant, sparring, recording-technic (DK) & corridor-composition: Kristian Hverring
Recording of prologue and epilogue (DK): Dan Schlosser
Binaural music-recording, mix & mastering (DE): picaroMEDIA in corporation with TU Berlin & UdK Berlin:
Peter Weinsheimer, Recording-technician
Felicitas Fiedler, binaural recording
Christoph Binner, Recording-technician
Kirstine Elisa Kjeldsen, Recording-assistant
Light Consultant: Sonja Lea
Photo: Igor Vasiljev
Produced by ABER DABEI in collaboration Helsingør Teater
Premiered: 2th. of November 2017, Helsingør Station
Supported by: Statens Kunstfonds Projektstøtteudvalg for Scenekunst, Bikubenfonden, Wilhelm Hansen Fonden, Knud Højgaards Fond, Dansk Komponist Forenings Produktionspulje, KODAs Kulturelle Midler & Koda-Dramatik
(…) Silence, until tiny sounds and voices start to form the image of the situation 18 children, 81 women and 76 men found themselves in, as they waited for their deportation.
Crying, hope, whisper, steps, dripping water, the clapping of hooves and the sense of desperation. The old woman who doesn’t understand why, the young man whose mind is set on escaping, and those who desperately cling to the hope, that this might not be as bad- it is a Danish train after all.
Hope, denial, thoughts of escape are mixed with snapshots of cold, starvation, anxiety and resignation in the fully unique 3-D sound, and you are sucked into the waiting room together with the miserable, uncomprehending, and powerless Jews, that has nothing left, but to wait. (…)
ABER DABEI’s important docudrama is not for the faint of heart, but a necessary reminder of history that should not be repeated.
“Why didn’t we listen to the warnings?” That question revisits in the moving “re-enactment” of the nightly stay of 175 Jews at Helsingør Station (…)
It’s a very different experience, and I was glad that I in advance had read that it was “an intimate and intense experience for only a small audience at a time, who together undergoes a compressed endeavour, where sound and light indicate the night between the 12th and 13th of October.”
An oppressive waiting time- here we stood, about 30 people at Helsingør Station and waited, Waiting for what? We actually weren’t sure, for what exactly is an installation? We didn’t see a play- this was something that actually happened here at Helsingør Station, we listened and we heard voices, testimonies from survivors.
What do you talk about while waiting- without knowing, what you are waiting for, but fearing the worst? I wonder if the 30 of us, the audience- the listeners didn’t pick up our own different pieces?
As the headline may indicate, the strongest piece for me, was the married couple, where the man over and over again ensured his wife- and himself- that if it had been known- known that there would actually be called for action against the Jews, even in Denmark- then of course he, as well as many other Jews, would have gone underground and tried to escape to Sweden. But now you sit here at Helsingør Station and say “If one had only listened…”