Move the mouse pointer over a red word in the main text, to view the glossary entry for this word.

Photographs: Traces of History

© Eva & Artur Holling
© Eva & Artur Holling

Photographs can be regarded as traces of history, as can transmissions of elements of the past in other media, be they written documents, works of art, or buildings. But photographs evoke a sense of immediacy, an impression of looking directly at past events—in this case, at Jewish daily life in Europe, a pattern of living destroyed in the Holocaust—as if the images were able to show exactly how things used to be. Photography operates only at a moment in time, however, in an excerpt from a whole, and the isolated observation can be understood only by having information about the context of the snapshot, its position in the everyday life of the people pictured, and their life before and after the photo was taken. The installation of the photo panels of the Norbert Wollheim Memorial in the groves of trees activates this direct response through the effect of the photographs as glimpses of the past.

(SD/MN/SP; transl. KL)



Photo Panels in the Park of the I.G. Farben Building