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Boris Kobe’s concentration camp tarot

The deck of tarock cards was drawn by the artist and architect Boris Kobe in 1945 at the Allach concentration camp.Kobe was a graduate of architectural engineering in 1929 in Ljubljana. In February 1945 he was deported to Dachau concentration camp and later transfered to Überlingen (March) and finally to Allach (April) where he stayed until the liberation. In the weeks after the liberation, he drew the set of concentration camp tarock cards.

The concentration camp tarock cards were not meant to play with, but to depict the “power games” at the concentration camps. It was a game between life and death and the cards inspire us even today with the strength of the human will and creativity, even in the darkest moments of human existence. It is believed that the mistakes in the card design, that prevent the cards from being played smoothly, had been made on purpose, as the cards were drawn to serve as a medium for the artist to express the horrors he had seen and experienced in the concentration camp.

The deck of concentration tarock cards consists of 54 individual cards – respectively drawings.

Date: 1945
Material: papir
Technique: colored pencils
Dimensions: 9 x 6 cm
Inventory number: RI-1111-1139, RI-1300-1324
On view at the permanent exhibition Slovenes in the XX. century.

National UNESCO World Heritage List

In 2020, the UNESCO National Committee for the Memory of the World program was established in Slovenia, which operates under the auspices of the National Commission for UNESCO.

Its purpose is to popularize the UNESCO program for written cultural heritage Memory of the World. In 2022, the Slovenian national register was presented to the Slovenian public for the first time with the first ten entries on the National Memory of the World list.The list also includes the Boris Kobe’s concentration camp tarot.

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