Memory Unearthed

Memory Unearthed is an exhibition of the photographs of Henryk Ross, a photographer in the Lodz ghetto in the years 1940 – 1945.

The Art Gallery of Ontario currently has the photographs on display and it is an enlightening and disturbing exhibition. It contains some of the bravest, scariest and most real photographs to be seen anywhere. It captures the desperation and depression of that hopeless time for the people who were imprisoned there for those years of WW II.

From 1940 to 1944, Ross took work-permit identification card photos for the ghetto’s ever increasing Jewish population consolidated into Lodz ghetto by the Nazi regime. He also took “official” images, promoting the ghetto’s work efficiency, and at the same time he documented the grim daily life in the ghetto: suffering and despair, starvation and diseases, the exploitation of the workers, the deportation of thousands to death camps at Chelmno and Auschwitz.” (AGO web page)

I was able to visit recently and came away with a renewed appreciation of the horror that was Nazi-controlled ghetto life in Poland.

These photographs are a small fraction of the story presented by the AGO.


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