27 Feb Black And White, And Silent

Monday morning, the morning after the Oscar ceremonies and having seen and loved The Artist I thought I would write today about how refreshing the film had been, a real “feel good” factor.

Then a photo caught my eye and my blog research time was spent looking at 191 more photos taken at Auschwitz in 1944. These document the stages of processing from arrival by train to the walk to the gas chambers and are from an album held in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum.

The photograph that initially caught my eye was part of a new publication, a comparison of then and now, the same settings without the people.  The photographer, Pawel Sawicki, comments: I could sense the peculiar emptiness more and more.  The people, who were the essence of the pictures in the album, were missing.

I hadn’t heard of the album, and having looked through the appalling pictures found that the namesake of the album, Lili Jacob, was in one and had survived.  Her story was astonishing; she survived the death camp, then been held elsewhere and was recovering in a former camp when she came across the album by chance.  Not only did it have a picture of her, but also of other members of her family who did not survive.

Picture after picture shows women, children and men selected for death.

It is hard to look at their faces and realise that soon after the photo was taken these people had marched unsuspectingly into a gas chamber and faced the terror awaiting them. I also cannot help but think there but for the grace of god…

However, as I write this I also remember the feeling coming out of the cinema after seeing The Artist, black and white, silent and again think if born elsewhere in this world how different my life might be.

What is an economic depression in comparison?

http://bbc.in/wroinA  In pictures, Auschwitz-Birkenau, then and now.

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