Maintaining humanity and dignity under inhumane conditions. This experience was behind the larger-than-life close-ups of 75 Holocaust survivors, which were on display for the first time ever at the Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site from January to September 2020.
The pictures, which were exhibited against the harsh backdrop of the Mixing Plant, were taken by the internationally renowned photographer Martin Schoeller.
„SURVIVORS. Faces of Life after the Holocaust“ (2020) by Martin SchoellerUNESCO World Heritage Zollverein
Tibi Ram ...
...was born in the Carpathian Mountains, Hungary, in 1930.
"As Jews, we must protect our homeland and do everything in our power so that horrific events like those that occurrred during the Holocaust will never happen again."
Hannah Goslar-Pick ...
...was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1928.
"All people are created in the image of God. We are all the same. Regardless of color or religion, we should try to live in peace together. It is very hard, I know, but we should try harder to get along."
Jacob Philipson-Armon & Silvia Aharon
Jacob Philipson-Armon was born in Leiden, Holland, 1938.
„Humanity must not forget what happened. There are those who deny that the Holocaust occurred, and therefore it is imperative for us to remember all the details of what transpired during those dark days.“
Silvia Aharon was born in Czernowitz, Romania, in 1936.
„First and foremost, we must be good human beings. We must be open to giving and receiving love. We should always think of others, and help them better themselves. We should learn to be adaptable to all situations that that come our way.“
"A picture is the fastest way to get a message and an emotion into your brain. And this is why pictures are so successful when it comes to telling stories." Kai Diekmann, Chairman, Friends of Yad Vashem - Germany.
The "making of" to the exhibition SURVIVORS. Faces of Life after the Holocaust.
The exhibition opening
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and First Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia Armin Laschet opened the exhibition “SURVIVORS. Faces of Life after the Holocaust” at Zollverein on 21st January 2020 on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp.
Naftali Fürst visited the exhibition.
“Each portrait here is a reminder for us to stand up for humanity, a reminder not to remain silent and to look the other way in everyday life, when people are being attacked, humiliated and have their dignity violated.” Merkel spoke in the presence of Holocaust survivor Naftali Fürst, one of the 75 survivors, who had been portrayed by photographer Martin Schoeller.
Photographer Martin Schoeller
Martin Schoeller, born in Munich in 1968, is one of the internationally most renowned portrait photographers and is known for his haunting, hyper-realistic close-ups. The photographs for the exhibition “SURVIVORS. Faces of Life after the Holocaust” were taken in Jerusalem, at Yad Vashem, where Schoeller visited the portrayed people and took a lot of time for the photographs.
Virtual tour of the exhibition
In order to continue this important project against forgetting and to make the topic interesting, especially for the younger generation, Martin Schoeller has created a virtual reality tour of the exhibition at Zollverein, which he himself accompanies as a guide. During the 40-minute tour, some of the last still living contemporary witnesses have their say.
“SURVIVORS. Faces of Life after the Holocaust” is the second joint project of the Foundation for Art and Culture in Bonn and the Holocaust Remembrance Centre Yad Vashem in Israel. Zollverein Foundation and the Ruhr Museum at the Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site in Essen acted as cooperation partners. The exhibition was curated by Anke Degenhard and Vivian Uria. The project was initiated by the German Friends of Yad Vashem under the direction of Kai Diekmann, and it is supported and funded by RAG Foundation.