Grzegorz Kwiatkowski of Trupa Trupa made a startling discovery in 2015. In a pine forest, nuzzled next to the former Stutthof concentration camp in Poland, was a cache of buried shoes.
In modern Poland it is an offence to accuse national authorities or Polish citizens of having a role in the extermination of the Jews. But the thousands of shoes Kwiatkowski found buried there tell a different story altogether. A perfect representation, he argues, of Poland's reticence to exhume the past, or to examine their own place in it.
There is, of course, a fine line to be drawn here. Nazism was not a fun, opt-in summer camp of a regime. But it was built on a house of cards; a precarious structure of individuals denying responsibility. Without this desire to look away, to cover the ugly with earth, it could not have succeeded. And this desire has followed Poland like a spectre into the modern day.
On 'Remainder', Trupa Trupa's new single, Kwiatkowski and co. rail against Holocaust deniers with typical style. The track recalls The Cure's Pornography; it fills you with nervous kinetic energy, while at the same time crushing and nailing you in place. The coldness and warmth of a harsh truth.
Trupa Trupa are not interested in psychoanalysing Holocaust deniers. It is a position much too confusing and complicated to do any justice to in three minutes. Instead, they parody the seductive, simplistic rhetoric of conspiracy theorists, chanting 'It did not take place' over and over like a mantra. To say the effect is disturbing is an understatement.
The strength of this track is that, while it adopts a minimal approach to its topic, it feels clear, cogent and forthright. The past may be a dark and frightening place. But the future is looking brighter courtesy of Trupa Trupa's LP Of the Sun, due this September.
Words by Andrew O’Keefe