Almost everyone has seen it. Almost everyone loves it. Almost everyone has bought a copy of it: “Desperate House Wives”.
“Ah, this TV Show!” will of course be your first thought. But we are actually talking about one of Tim Roeloffs’ art collages which is the bestseller at our Klassenfeind Gallery:
This collage not only shows Desperate Housewives. It shows pictures of the German “Trümmerfrauen”.
But who are these “Trümmerfrauen” and why are they so important in German history?
Our gallery visitors ask us very often these kind of questions and for that reason we have decided to write down some hard facts about these strong and amazing women.
Fact Nr. 1:
If you translate Trümmerfrauen literally into English you get “ruins women” or “rubble women”.
Fact Nr. 2:
Between 1945 and 1946 all women between 15 and 50 were ordered by the Allied powers to help to clean up all the ruins and rubbish of the cities. Here you might ask yourself why women had to do such a job. Well, the men were still at war or injuried as a result of the war.
Fact Nr. 3:
It were these ruins women who cleaned up and also helped to reconctruct the almost completely destroyed cities throughout Germany and Austria after the World War II.
Fact Nr. 4:
The Trümmerfrauen had no more then easy tools like picks and hand-winches. A typical picture is a chain of rubble women in front of ruins transferring the bricks to the streets. The women were also always looking for stuff that they could resuse again like wood, toilets, pipes, etc.
Where did all the rubbish go you might ask? In German cities you can find very often big hills like the famous Teufelsberg in Berlin or the Monte Scherbelino in Stuttgart. These hills are called “Schuttberge” and were made of leftover debris.
Fact Nr. 6:
The Trümmerfrauen are without doubt amazing and strong woman who have done a lot for the new panorama of German cities. For that reason there have been numerous ceremonies and memorials for them. On the 30th of September 1949, Louise Schroeder (German politician of SPD) said in a speech: “Our woman have been the ones who with their bare hands have […] cleaned up the rubble of the streets. […] And as a woman I have to say, that right here we have a obligation of honor, a obligation of honor towards the women, that were still standing on the streets with white hair in order to remove the debris and that suddendly became unemployed because we can’t pay them anymore”
The Trümmerfrauen are silent hereos. No wonder Tim Roeloffs is facinated by them and has tributed them very often in form of serigraphs and collages.
Like in our Klassenfeind bestseller “Desperate House Wives” which actually has a link to the famous TV Show. But what have these horeoic German women to do with a bunch of rich women leaving in big houses?
Here comes one of Tim Roeloffs‘ epic explantions: ”Of course (these women) were desperate. They didn’t have men, and they had to build up the city again, during that they were taking care of their children. They were the opposite of this boring and rich women [in this TV Show], that don’t have more to do than shopping”.
Roeloffs is proposing us a reflection, through this parody.
Don’t miss the “Desperate House Wives” live at your Klassenfeind Gallery!