September 3, 2008
by Canadian Architect
The General Plan for the East (GPO) embodied the Nazi vision for a radical reorganization racial, spatial, and demographic settlement patterns of Eastern Europe. The reorganization would see the expulsion (“resettlement”) to the east of “culturally and racially inferior” populations, the remaking of the Eastern European landscape through the construction of prototypical Germanized villages, and the creation of an effective agrarian society, with decentralized industry and settlement structures. Presented to Heinrich Himmler in July of 1941, the GPO was arguably the most far-reaching and violent experiment in the use of the tools of scientific planning to reshape society.
This exhibition and symposium takes place at the Eric Arthur Gallery, John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto, and is organized and sponsored by the German Research Association (Deutsche Forshungsgemeinschaft). Show for the first time outside of Germany, this exhibition was originally mounted in numerous German cities in 2006/2007.
The exhibition runs from October 15 to December 13, 2008, and admission is free. To launch the exhibition, the University of Toronto will host an international symposium from October 15-17, 2008, also at the Eric Arthur Gallery, which will bring together specialists on the history of science, race, population, and architecture to explore the implications of the General Plan for the East for our understanding of the relationship between science, the state, and the restructuring of space. The symposium opens Wednesday, October 15 at 5:00 pm with a keynote address by Professor Christopher Browning. It continues Thursday between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm and Friday between 9:30 am and 5:00 pm.
The symposium is funded by the University of Toronto (Office of the Dean, Faculty of Arts & Science; the Joint Initiative in German and European Studies; the Ray and Rose Wolfe Chair in Holocaust Studies; Munk Centre for International Studies; Department of History; Office of the Dean, University of Toronto at Scarborough; and the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design); and the German Research Association.
Registration is required: please do so at http://webapp.mcis.utoronto.ca/EventDetails.aspx?eventid=6485. The symposium program will be available on the website of the Joint Initiative in German and European Studies at www.chass.utoronto.ca/jiges/gpo_october-2008.pdf.