Block 15

A Virtual Journey


© 2015 Anna Maria Droumpouki, All rights reserved 

In Europe as well as on an international level, immersive technologies have not been employed widely in historically-contested sites. At the same time, despite the fact that the German Occupation in Greece (1941-1944) has influenced public debates, and inspired artistic displays and performances, the sites of memory of the Second World War remain invisible.

The present project focuses on the infamous Block 15 of the Haidari Concentration Camp in Western Athens, the largest and most notorious German concentration camp in wartime Greece, as a showcase of a largely neglected site of difficult heritage and will attempt to make the building, currently an endangered one, accessible to audiences and communities of diverse backgrounds through the use of immersive technologies.

The project aims at creating impact on many different levels:
– enhancing understanding of and engagement in the functions of the building and the historical context
– renewing cultural identity of the region of Athens
– fostering civic participation of diverse socio-cultural groups

Through original scenarios based on primary and multimedia archival sources that will largely be based on digital storytelling, the interactive, immersive Virtual Reality experience to be developed will not only bring back to life the actual monument that is Block 15, but will also function as a reminder of the horrors and torture inflicted by the Nazis on prisoners, in an attempt to reintroduce a historically and politically contested site to heterogeneous audiences, both in situ as well as in sites outside the Concentration Camp.

The production will combine:
Dramatic story-driven exploration of the concentration camp and important landmarks
Interactive discovery of facts through narration and point-and-trigger actions and events
– Incorporation of authentic historical material
Reconstruction of the original site based on historical and architectural evidence
– Strictly non-commercial, free-to-use policy

© 2007 Anna Maria Droumpouki, All rights reserved 

The virtual reality production “Tales from Block 15 – A virtual journey to a grim past” was financed by the German Federal Foreign Office through funds of the German-Greek Future Fund.

Production Resources



In English
– Anna Maria Droumpouki, “Contemporary Greek History in abandonment: Sites of memory of Second World War and the use of memory in public history”, in: Berteke Waaldijk, Carla Salvaterra, Izabella Agardi (Hrsg.), Making Sense, Crafting History. Practices of Producing Historical Meaning, Pisa: Edizioni Plus Pisa University Press, 2010, p. 75–91
– Agiatis Benardou, “Immersive experiences and difficult heritage: Past lessons / Challenges ahead”, Invited talk, University of California Berkeley, November 2019 (pdf)

Auf Deutsch
– Ralph Klein, «Chaidari». In: Wolfgang Benz, Barbara Distel (eds.), Der Ort des Terrors. Geschichte der nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager, Issue 9, Verlag C.H. Beck, Munich 2009, s. 559-572
– Anna Maria Droumpouki, „Denkmäler des Vergessens und Spuren des zweiten Weltkriegs in Griechenland: Das KZ Chaidari”, in: Israel Torsten (eds.), Renato Mordo: jüdisch, griechisch, deutsch zugleich. Ein Künstlerleben im Zeitalter der Extreme, Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Rheinland-Pfalz, Mainz 2020

Στα Ελληνικά
– Θέμος Κορνάρος, Στρατόπεδο Χαϊδαρίου, Αθήνα 1963
– Αντώνης Ι. Φλούντζης, Χαϊδάρι. Κάστρο και βωμός της Εθνικής Αντίστασης, Παπαζήσης, Αθήνα 1976
– Νίκος Παπαναστασίου, Χάγκεν Φλάισερ, «Το ‘οργανωμένο Χάος’, η γερμανική κατοχική διοίκηση στην Ελλάδα», στο: Χρήστος Χατζηιωσήφ, Προκόπης Παπαστράτης (επιμ.), Ιστορία της Ελλάδας του 20ου αιώνα. Β΄ Παγκόσμιος Πόλεμος. Κατοχή- Αντίσταση 1940-1945, τόμος Γ1, Βιβλιόραμα, Αθήνα 2007
– Άννα Μαρία Δρουμπούκη, «Στρατόπεδο Χαϊδαρίου: Όψεις της κατοχικής βιογραφίας μιας πόλης», Σύγχρονα Θέματα, τεύχος 116, Ιανουάριος- Μάρτιος 2012, σ. 73–79
– Άννα Μαρία Δρουμπούκη, Μνημεία της Λήθης. Ίχνη του Β’ Παγκοσμίου Πολέμου στην Ελλάδα και στην Ευρώπη, Πόλις, Αθήνα 2014