Shoah - day and night
DAY AND NIGHT Art Photography and photomontage from Auschwitz Birkenau . by Thomas D Bergh done between 1980-2021 in an effort to tell the story of the Holocaust the “SHOAH” Double images printed on large thick cracked glass sheets and on beaten metal plates ,leaning against the walls in the exhibition hall , so that the viewer can look at the images from both sides . This series of images from Auschwitz Birkenau tell the story of every day and every night in the death camp. The images are made in layers as to resemble an excavation and are repeated to show the repetitious routines within the camp. Please contact us with your comments or suggestions of exhibiting this important art ? The artist wants to donate the Shoah collection of art to the Holocaust museum who will take upon themselves to exhibit it and organise the transportation of the artworks from the current storage in Germany. Some images still needs to be printed on metal and glass and needs financial support for this. The art is too important for coming generations to be stored in a warehouse. White Silent Hell Short film by Thomas D Bergh : https://vimeo.com/131558330
My SHOAH ART Collection
This collection of works has gradually developed over the last 40 years. It combines my interest for humanity and history, with my passion and belief in the inherent necessity for the story of the Holocaust to be told, and as loud
as possible. I feel that it is vital to keep the story alive and to ensure, that the truth reaches out, especially in these new times of denial.
I also view it as an important warning and wake-up call for the younger generation that is so easily misled. Today we face new dangers in the form of a new anti-semitism with new Right wing movements, Neo-Nazism and Islamic fundamentalism and this is something we all have to take very seriously. It is imperative we do all of which we are capable to avoid a repetition of this aspect of modern history.
My interest for the Holocaust began already as a small child when my grandmother told me stories from the second world war and when she as a Swedish tourist in Germany was thrown of a tram in Dresden by two SA men as she refused to saw on the star of David on her and my mother's coat and instead saw on a Swedish flag. This and many other stories created a fascination for the subject and already at the age of ten I started to create art about the horrors of the Holocaust. I still have these child drawings. I have also had contact with the family of Raoul Wallenberg as my grandmother was friends with his mother in Stockholm in the 1920s. I have one of his Swedish military hats, and his newspaper birth add and other memorabilia in my Shoah collection.
For the “Shoah” project I have used several different forms of media: Painting and collage on canvas complimented with sculptural elements in the form of objects that draw a direct link to the persecutions and exterminations, or to the life of Jewish families before the deportations. .
I have also used traditional photography and video installation based on what is today left of the actual places in which the crimes occurred. My short film White Silent hell is a documentation of what is left of the architecture of evil in Auschwitz Birkenau. Filmed and edited in a kind of chronological order to show the gradual humiliation of those who had to walk their Golgotha toward death.And at the same time the ice cold and calculated every day routines of the death technicians who handled the death machinery.
Many of my works have an educational approach, but others are more poetic in their reflection upon what is one of the darkest periods in the history of mankind. It is impossible to portray the horrors of the Holocaust justly, as the magnitude of the crimes are beyond all comprehension and understanding. Still we have to try, we owe it to our children and the millions that perished.
I also believe it is important to approach the subject in as many different ways as possible, in order to reach out to as many people as possible in addition to conveying the message to future generations, not only to those of Jewish faith, for whom the holocaust might be a family memory.
The story of Shoah must be conveyed to people of all faiths and of all nationalities in order that no one should be fooled. The truth and reality of what happened can be hard to understand, or even to accept, but it can not be questioned or denied. Art is only one tool in this mission to “tell the story”, but often an effective one. It reaches and touches other groups of people, who usually don't care to read books about history or see documentaries about the Holocaust.
I see my humble involvement, through this collection of pictures, as no more than a handful of dust, yet this dust is a part of our testament, my contribution to collective memory, one could say.
In my recent series of photographs, taken in both Auschwitz Birkenau and Kazimierz the Jewish quarters in Krakow during the winter of 2007, I have combined images in order to tell the story chronologically.
These ‘triptychs’ in the form of vast silent winter landscapes, with crumbling concrete from blown-up gas chambers, that take the shape of monsters, organic, frightening. Depictions of the many piles of shoes that remain, glasses, pots and pans are a harsh reminder of the many scattered lives. Furthermore, the walls, where inscriptions borne of pain are still clearly visible, worn down floors upon which thousands passed on their way to a premature death, lay testament to the torment those many men and women experienced. The barbed wire cuts through the clear blue sky like a razor. All of this remains, frozen in time, covered with frosty ice and as with the annual rings defining the age of a tree in the forest of remembrance.
The images contrast each other and at the same time they are all telling the same story. They are documents of pain. It is a sort of excavation of this pain within the objects, a frozen landscape where time stands still, but where the thought and spirit travels freely: A silent hell, in which the ashes hide under a frozen pond.
I have entered this landscape, in silence and with respect for its many victims.
Thomas D. Bergh