Heinz Skall, born into a Jewish family in Prague and raised in Vienna, managed to escape death in a concentration camp – unlike the rest of his family. When World War II broke out, Skall was living in Italy. In accordance with the Nuremberg Laws, which the National Socialist regime had passed as early as 1935, Skall was sent to an internment camp in Campagna (province of Salerno/South Italy). Despite all odds, the local population, which was mostly poor and uneducated, struck up friendships with the Jewish doctors, artists and intellectuals in the camp. Alice Socal tells Skall’s story through the letters and drawings he sent back to his family in Vienna during his internment. One of the anecdotes that Skall was fond of telling included the allegedly pink donkeys of Campagna.
Pink Donkeys is one of the stories in the project Redrawing Stories form the Past, Escape and Migration in Europe. In those stories the authors explored the history of flight and migration as a consequence of National Socialism. The scope of the project, however, went beyond the historical events of this period as participants also examined the medium- and long-term impact of escape and migration. These consequences are passed down from generation to generation and are still discernible in today’s societies. This approach allowed us to draw parallels between historic and current events (e.g. refugee and migration flows to Europe) with the aim of fostering a better understanding of history among the participating artists and youth, as well as the general public.
“Escape and Migration in Europe” took place in Naples, Italy, and Leipzig, Germany, throughout 2018 and 2019. It was funded by the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb)and Goethe-Institut Rom in cooperation with Goethe-Institut Neapel, Anne Frank Zentrum Berlin and kuš!.