HomePhotography of Persecution. Pictures of the Holocaust

HomePhotography of Persecution. Pictures of the Holocaust

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Published on Thursday, June 09, 2022

Abstract

Rather than treating photographic images taken under Nazi rule as self-explanatory, immediate, and self-contained, this conference invites interested scholars to approach photographs as they would other documents – by treating photographs as objects of historical inquiry and interrogating the political interests authorizing their creation, the material conditions under which they were produced, the editing process out of which they emerged and were displayed, and the uses to which they were put. The conference will focus on the photographic record of the persecution of Jews in Nazi-dominated Europe, including its overseas possessions from 1933 to 1945.

Announcement

Argument

The George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights and Conflict Prevention is honored to announce the international conference The Photography of Persecution: Pictures of the Holocaust.

Photographs play a central role in representations of the Holocaust. A few photographs have become so widespread and well-known that they are used in popular discourse as metonymic reminders of the genocide. And yet, often enough these iconic photographs do not actually depict what it is claimed that they depict. Instead, they are incorrectly attributed, mistakenly identified, and most importantly underanalyzed. This uncritical approach to the photography of persecution has resulted in significant misrepresentations of the Holocaust, especially in the popular imagination.  

Rather than treating photographic images taken under Nazi rule as self-explanatory, immediate, and self-contained, this conference invites interested scholars to approach photographs as they would other documents – by treating photographs as objects of historical inquiry and interrogating the political interests authorizing their creation, the material conditions under which they were produced, the editing process out of which they emerged and were displayed, and the uses to which they were put. The conference will focus on the photographic record of the persecution of Jews in Nazi-dominated Europe, including its overseas possessions from 1933 to 1945.

This conference is organized in partnership with the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, the Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz, and Boston University.

Conference Program  

Wednesday 22 June  

10:00 Opening and welcome : Brian Schiff, Director of the George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights and Conflict Prevention, The American University of Paris 

  • Introduction Tal Bruttmann, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Christoph Kreutzmüller, Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz, Jonathan Zatlin, Boston University 

10:15— 12:00 Roundtable: Photographs from an Archival Perspective 

Chair: Brian Schiff, The American University of Paris 

  • Jonathan Matthews, Head of the photo archives in Yad Vashem, Jerusalem 
  • Alina Bothe, Centre for Research on Antisemitism, TU Berlin), project manager of "Last Seen. Pictures of Nazi Deportations”, Arolsen Archives, Bad Arolsen 
  • Lior Lalieu-Smadja, Head of the photo archives, Centre de Documentation du Mémorial de la Shoah, Paris 

13:30 — 14:30 Photographing Persecution Before the War 

Chair: Dominique Trimbur, Fondation pour la mémoire de la Shoah, Paris 

  • “Framing Flight. Narratives of Emigration in German-Jewish Photo Albums, 1933-1939” Robert Mueller-Stahl, Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam (in person) 
  • “Debunking the Plastometer: Roman Vishniac’s Photographic Exposure of and Resistance to Nazi Persecution (Berlin 1933)”  Louis Kaplan, University of Toronto (in person) 

14:45 — 15:45 Photographing Persecution During the War 

Chair: Jean-Marc Dreyfus, The University of Manchester 

  • “Pictures of a Deportation: Gestapo Images of Wurzburg’s Jews, 1941-1942” Jonathan Zatlin, Boston University,MA (in person) 
  • “The ‘Black Sabbath,’ Thessaloniki, July 11, 1942 - No Caption Needed?”  Nathalie Soursos, University of Vienna (in person) 

16:00-17:00 Photographs of the Warsaw Ghetto 

Chair: Christoph Kreutzmüller, Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz, Berlin 

  • “Was it Indeed ‘A Day in the Warsaw Ghetto: A Birthday Trip in Hell 19.9.41’? – A Critical Examination of the Heinrich Joest Collection” Efrat Komisar, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (in person) 
  • “An Administrative Report: The ‘Stroop Report’, A Text with Photos” Tal Bruttmann, École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris (in person)  

Thursday 23 June  

10:30— 12:00 Jewish Photographers in the Lodz Ghetto 

Chair: Irina Tcherneva, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris 

  • “Breaking the Perpetrators´ Gaze: Confronting Perpetrators Photos of Deportation of Lodz Ghetto with the Photographic Perspective of the Persecuted”  Tanja Kinzel, Freie Universität Berlin (in person) 
  • “All the Tragic Period: The Lodz Ghetto Photography of Henryk Ross”  Morgan Morales, University of North Carolina (in person) 
  • “A Catalog of Default Photos from the Holocaust. Advertising Photographs from the Lodz Ghetto as Testimonies”  Paweł Michna, Jagiellonian University, Krakow (in person)  

14:00 — 15:00 Photography in the Camps 

Chair: Jonathan Zatlin, Boston University, MA 

  • “Institutionalized Perpetrator Photography. SS Pictures Taken at Concentration Camps”  Lukas Meissel, University of Haifa, doctoral fellow at the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah (in person) 
  • “Photography as Survival and Resistance: KL Prisoner Workers of the Erkennungsdienst”  Julie R. Keresztes, Tufts University, MA (in person) 

15:15 — 16:45 Crowds, Neighbors, and Onlookers 

Chair: Sarah Gensburger, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris 

  • “Photographing the 1941 Anti-Jewish Pogroms in Western Ukraine: The Lviv Pogrom in a Comparative Perspective” Thomas Chopard, French Russian Studies Center, Paris (in person) 
  • “A Unique Discovery: Visual Evidence of the Deportation of Jews Outside the City of Amsterdam” Laurien Vastenhout, NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Amsterdam (in person) 
  • “Who Else Can Look at... Like That? A History of a Photo Taken in Krępiecki Forest”  Katarzyna Grzybowska, Jagiellonian University, Krakow (online)  

Friday 24 June  

10:00 — 11:00 Publishing Pictures in the Early Postwar Period 

Chair: Audrey Kichelewski, The University of Strasbourg 

  • “The Role and Meaning of Photographs in the Books Published by Central Jewish Historical Commission in Poland 1945-1947”  Ewa Koźmińska-Frejlak, Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw (in person) 
  • “Historicizing the Moment: Extermination of Polish Jews, a Survivor-authored Photobook”  Steven Samols, University of Southern California, CA (in person) 

11:15-12:15 Exhibiting Pictures in the Postwar Period 

Chair: Sarah Gensburger, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris 

  • “Framing George Kaddish” Rachel Perry, University of Haifa (in person) 
  • "The Yellow Star on the Wall. Gerhard Schoenberner's Exhibition in the House of the Wannsee-Conference" Christoph Kreutzmüller, House of the Wannsee-Conference, Berlin (in person) 

14:00 — 15:00 Humanitarian Uses of Pictures 

Chair: Constance Pâris de Bollardière, The American University of Paris 

  • “Kloster Indersdorf: Child Survivors and Humanitarian Photography” Christine Schmidt, Wiener Holocaust Library in London, and Dan Stone, Royal Holloway, University of London  (in person) 
  • “The Currency of the Cameratic: Photographs in International Rescue Campaigns during World War II”  Rebekka Grossmann, The Jacob Robinson Institute for the History of Individual and Collective Rights, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem (in person) 

15:15 — 16:45 Rethinking the Familiar 

Chair: Brian Schiff, The American University of Paris 

  • “The Many Deaths and Afterlives of the “Barefoot Rabbi” and the Making of an Iconic Holocaust Image”  Yechiel Weizman, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan (in person) 
  • “The Afterlife of Holocaust Photographs: Vienna 1938 and Warsaw 1943” Jeffrey Shandler, Rutgers University, NJ (in person)
  •  “Five Shots from Sdolbunow: The Mizocz Ghetto Liquidation Photographs in History and Memory” Valerie Hébert, Lakehead University in Orillia, Ontario (online)  

Organizing Committee

  • Tal Bruttmann (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales),
  • Sarah Gensburger (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique),
  • Christoph Kreutzmüller (Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz),
  • Constance Pâris de Bollardière (The American University of Paris),
  • Brian Schiff (The American University of Paris),
  • Jonathan Zatlin (Boston University) 

Registration

Attendees must register for this in-person conference by filling out the form on this page by Friday, 17 June

For inquiries, please contact: schaeffercenter@aup.edu

Photo ID required for entry 

Places

  • The American University of Paris - 6 rue du Colonel Combes
    Paris, France (75)

Event attendance modalities

Full on-site event


Date(s)

  • Wednesday, June 22, 2022
  • Thursday, June 23, 2022
  • Friday, June 24, 2022

Keywords

  • photography, persecution, picture, Holocaust

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Center Schaeffer
    courriel : schaeffercenter [at] aup [dot] edu

License

CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Photography of Persecution. Pictures of the Holocaust », Conference, symposium, Calenda, Published on Thursday, June 09, 2022, https://doi.org/10.58079/193g

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