A short piece on BBC Radio 4 - available on iPlayer for the next seven days.
Jonathan Charles is given unique access to the team of British forensic archaeologists carrying out the first coordinated scientific attempt to locate the remains of Holocaust victims at the site of Treblinka’s death camp.
Gym slammed for using picture of Nazi death camp Auschwitz to promote weight loss… but owner says it’s been great for business
A gym has come under fire for using a picture of a Nazi concentration camp - where millions of Jews were starved and gassed to death - to promote weight loss.
The Circuit Factory, in Dubai, sparked controversy by using a photograph of Auschwitz to kick-start potential new members into losing a few pounds.
It shows train tracks leading up to the death camp with the caption ‘Kiss your calories goodbye’ underneath.
Wow. Now how’s *that* for bad taste?! You can read the rest of the article by clicking on the photograph.
Known as the Tower of Faces this three-story tower displays photographs from the Yaffa Eliach Shtetl Collection. Taken between 1890 and 1941 in Eishishok, a small town in what is now Lithuania, they describe a vibrant Jewish community that existed for 900 years.
In 1941, an SS mobile killing squad entered the village and within two days massacred the entire Jewish population.
(Source: demons, via cyclicality)
Musical ‘masterpiece’ captures horror of Auschwitz concentration camp
Opera based on novel by a Catholic death camp survivor and composed by a Polish Jew comes to Britain at last
An Auschwitz survivor who wrote a novel based on her experiences in the camp has told the Observer that only the opera based on her book,which is due to have its UK premiere at the English National Opera this week, can adequately capture the horror of her time there.
Zofia Posmysz, a devout Catholic, was arrested aged 18 and tortured by the Gestapo before being sent to the death camp for “three years and 21 days”, merely for being with someone carrying Polish resistance leaflets. She said only her faith gave her the courage to survive, despite suffering the “greatest extremes of degradation”.
Her semi-autobiographical novel, The Passenger, inspired the Polish-Jewish composer Mieczysław Weinberg to write the opera, which he completed in 1968. Despite being hailed by the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich as a “perfect masterpiece”, the opera was banned by the Soviet Union and it did not receive its world premiere until it was staged in Bregenz, Austria, last year.
I can’t say that opera has ever really appealed to me, but this sounds like it is something quite special. The Passenger opens at the Coliseum, London, on 19th Sept for eight performances - for further details see eno.org and if you are interested in reading more about Zofia Posmysz’s story, then click here.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has a wall calendar called “Everyday Object: Enduring Legacies” which features a range of objects including cameras, headphones, shoes etc that have a connection to the Holocaust and a story to tell.
This piece of paper has two letters, one from a Jewish man being deported in a cramped railway car, the other from the railway worker who found the letter on the side of the tracks and forwarded it to the man’s wife. Click the link for the full translation and further discussion, including a video of the curator talking about the object.