Willing to Face to Past

Jerusalem Report, October 2, 2017

AT THE weekly antique flea market in Berlin, Christoph Kreutzmueller, a Holocaust historian and curator for the new permanent exhibition of the Jewish Museum in Berlin, picked up a Nazi-era family album at random from a book stand, fascinated not by the black and white pictures that were there ‒ but by those that weren’t.

“They’re all torn out,” he said, pointing to a page consisting only of tear marks whose residue reveals the side of a tank and soldiers posing on a Mercedes. The “war” page?

The album, however, opens with a picture of paradise: a German couple with their nude toddlers are picnicking in a lush forest. As for the rest, most photos have been rearranged, out of order.

“There’s the innocent reading that [the album owner] hated the war and didn’t want to think of it anymore,” Kreutzmueller said of the reason for the missing pictures. “The biased, ‘mean’ reading is that perhaps they showed murder. I think that he really didn’t want to think of war anymore because the remnants that you see are not of fighting.”

Read the rest as a PDF or online (may have paywall)