Entries in Shoah (3)


Tracks Headed East

A sense of urgency overtook me today and I was able to get a couple of important photographs made. I'm exhausted right now, but elated. While I call everything an experiment, it's not exactly true. For now, however, I'm calling the work experimental.

The "train tracks" image below is something I've been meaning to try for a while. Most all of the tracks here were used, at least in some part, to transport Jews and other undesirables to either bigger train stations or directly to the concentration camps. My friend, Caron, mentioned that I should look at making some images like this - I couldn't agree more.

The feeling I get when I look at this empty, quiet image is one of anxiety. I'm waiting for a train to rip through this space headed east (the direction of this image) with cars full of people going to their death. Although, it doesn't look like it, I was very close to the tracks. It made me a little bit nervous. I shot this with my new (old) CC Harrison portrait lens - wide open - what a neo-pictorialist, huh? I was lucky to find a spot where I had access to the tracks (and schlep all of my Scheise to it). Sometimes, it's difficult doing these kinds of things. I was thinking about how I would probably be arrested in the United States for doing this... you know the whole terrorist scare thing. No one was around when I made the images. It was out of the way and "in between" towns.

"Train Tracks Headed East - Bahnhof Ahead" - 29 March 2008 - 1305 - 10x8 Black Glass Ambrotype (destroyed) - Southwestern Germany (quiet countryside). 
I'm going to keep making images of memorials, tracks, and portraits (and whatever else strikes me). I'm also going to explore making images of smokestacks. All of these symbols are very powerful to me. I have no idea how all of this is translating, or will translate, but I'll keep making images, thinking out loud, writing my thoughts and ideas down and hopefully, someday put it all together.



Germany issues arrest warrant for Sobibor's 'Ivan the Terrible'

German authorities issued an arrest warrant on Wednesday for John Demjanjuk, 88, the alleged Nazi war criminal ‘Ivan the Terrible’ suspected of killing tens of thousands of Jews in a World War II death camp.

"The accused is currently still in the United States," a court official said in a statement. "As soon as he arrives in Germany he will be questioned and tried."


Ivan the Terrible

A spokesman for the Justice Ministry told The Local, “We are looking at how this arrest warrant can be carried out. As to how, or when, I cannot say.”

If the US authorities do not expel Demjanjuk, a formal extradition request will be made.

Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk, now living in the United States, is thought to have assisted in the deaths of at least 29,000 Jews during his time in a Nazi concentration camp in Sobibor.

Demjanjuk, one of the world’s most wanted Nazi war criminals, emigrated to the US in 1950 but was extradited to Israel in 1986 after being accused of being the infamous ‘Ivan the Terrible.’

Sentenced to death in 1988 in Israel, he was released in August 1993 when Israeli judges dropped the case against him after statements by former guards collected by the KGB suggested another man was the infamous ‘Ivan the Terrible’.

Demjanjuk then returned to the city of Cleveland in the US state of Ohio where he has been living under house arrest conditions.

Six years later, the case against him was revived as evidence emerged that he had worked for the Nazis as a guard at three other death camps. He is still on a Simon Wiesenthal Centre list of the most wanted Nazi war criminals still alive.

Story from thelocal.de



I've watched a lot of films and read a lot of books about the Holocaust, or Shoah, over the years. However, I hadn't seen, "Shoah" by Claude Lanzmann. I want to travel to some of these places, especially Auschwitz-Birkenau, Chełmno, Sorbibor and Treblinka, and do some work for my project.

If you haven't seen it, you should - here's an overview:

Claude Lanzmann directed this 9 1/2 hour documentary of the Holocaust without using a single frame of archive footage. He interviews survivors, witnesses, and ex-Nazis (whom he had to film secretly since though only agreed to be interviewed by audio). His style of interviewing by asking for the most minute details is effective at adding up these details to give a horrifying portrait of the events of Nazi genocide. He also shows, or rather lets some of his subjects themselves show, that the anti-Semitism that caused 6 million Jews to die in the Holocaust is still alive in well in many people that still live in Germany, Poland, and elsewhere.

"Shoah" by Claude Lanzmann

A good perspective on the camps, locations and where I live (red box).