Over 210,000 of the mentally handicapped and mentally ill were murdered, 400,000 men and women underwent forced sterilization, and numerous psychiatric patients died as a result of medical trials between 1933 and 1945 in Germany.
Beginning with an essay on race hygiene as a leading science of the
Nazi regime, the exhibition book covers forced sterilization, the
"Kinderfachabteilungen" (Special children’s sections), the T4 campaign
– the mass murder of the sick that is seen as the forerun to the
genocide of European Jews – and the decentralized murder of the sick in
the later stages of the war.
Moreover, the fates of families whose children became victims of Nazi "Euthanasia" and of others who were unable to escape forced sterilization are told with the aid of recently discovered documents, letters, and photos.
The lives of the perpetrators are also considered: The doctors, carers, and helpers who were part of a system that sought to legitimize murder, the majority of whom were able to continue their careers after the war.
"Every photo I took was an event for me. It seemed to me that I was
just beginning to gain sight. I saw everything in a new light."
Born into a family in the business of photography for three
generations, Ruth Jacobi began her photographic career in Berlin of the
1920s. Exhibited here for the first time, her recently rediscovered
works not only bear witness to the revival of interest photography was
experiencing during this epoch, but also to the photographer's
intuition and her "ability to read people's faces."
Ruth Jacobi's memories describing her family's history can be found alongside the photographs, painting a very personal picture of the photographer, as sensitive as she was emancipated.
Born in Posen, Ruth Jacobi (1899-1995) received her photographic training at the Lette Photographic Academy in Berlin. Following five years employment at the Berlin family studio, she moved to New York in 1928. An impressive photographic series from this period shows the streets and markets of the Lower East Side, proof as much of the photographer's considerable talent as of her social conscience. At the beginning of the1930s, Ruth Jacobi returned to Berlin before emigrating permanently to the USA in 1935, where she settled with her husband in New York's Queens district.
Throughout her lifetime, Ruth Jacobi walked in her famous sister Lotte's shadow, as her memories published in the book as well as those of her niece Beatrice Trum Hunter testify. This is perhaps why Ruth Jacobi never exhibited her work and why it was forgotten for so long. This book shows a selection of her works - portraits, reportage, travel, and botanical photography - allowing insight into her mastery.
The well-illustrated exhibition book provides extensive information on the historical background to the looting of cultural artifacts and how their loss through persecution is handled today.
Two essays by Dan Diner and Constantin Goschler explore the historical, political, and moral dimensions of confiscation. Seventeen authors, among them experts of international renown such as Michael Bazyler, Patricia Grimsted, Jürgen Lillteicher, and Frank Kuitenbrouwer examine the procedures used by Nazi looting organizations and the often disreputable role of museums, libraries, and art dealers. The first restitutions of cultural artifacts by the Allies just after the war and the restitution procedures of the 1950s and 60s are described, as is the revival of the theme in Europe since the collapse of the Eastern bloc and the Washington conference in 1998. These articles present the facts of the 15 case stories described in detail in the book. They tell of the often intricate paths from "looting" to "restitution." Involved parties such as heirs, lawyers, museum representatives, and politicians have their say in interviews.hide content
The 49 illustrations were created over a period of four years since 2002. Pavel Schmidt worked on the picture cycle on trips to Munich, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Bern, Venice, Florence, New York, Strasbourg, and Prague, in hotels, cafés, interstate service areas, restaurants, and parks.
He sketched with pencil, ink, and oil on writing paper and card. The
Franz Kafka series which emerged is structured in its content: The
first section focuses on characters from Franz Kafka's work, the second
on people who were close to the author such as his father Hermann
Kafka, his fellow author and friend Max Brod, and his fiancée Felice
Bauer. Pavel Schmidt devotes the final section to encounters and
feelings of people featuring in Kafka's stories and novels.
"Pavel Schmidt: f.k." publishes hitherto unpublished texts from Franz Kafka's bequest. The combination of these texts with an art book by Pavel Schmidt, the facets of Schmidt's associative method of visualization and the poetic force of Kafka's language, are astoundingly atmospheric.