Sunday, 1 February 2015

Something I just had to do.....

This is the story.......


On Tuesday last (27th January)...

...as I sat (lumped) around the house feeling sorry for myself...

...because this damned little bug was rendering me useless...

...I went against my usual habits (of not putting on the tv during the day)...

...and opted to mong-out in front of the BBC News Channel for a while.

No "normal" kind of news that day though....

...rather hours of coverage of the events taking place at Auschwitz for

"Holocaust Memorial Day" 2015.

So, I thought "OK I'll watch for a while"...

...but have to admit that I wasn't particularly bothered to spend too much time doing so.

Then.....

...as I listened...

...I mean REALLY listened...

...especially to Meryl Streep's commentary on Steven Spielberg's film ...

...I became very, very still.

I watched the coverage to the end...

...and then looked in the Radio Times to see what else was happening that day...

...and found a number of programs relating to the same subject...

...which I also sat through.

Something happened...

...can't put it into words exactly....

...but I just KNEW that I HAD to "do something"...

...like ....NOW.

So, me being me....

...and doing what I do...

...I got on the internet and found loads and loads of information and photographs to sift through....

...while waiting for a tri-fold book base to dry.

A lot of info and images came from Wikipedia and Google Images...

...but I found YAD VASHEM most helpful.

(Their Facebook page is here.)

Yes, I know that I have used images from the internet...

...but I was doing this project for personal purpose.

It will never be for sale...

...and besides...

...I'm not really sure that I can agree with "copyright" on any of these photos.

They should belong to the world under the circumstances.

But I want to share the fruits of my labour here with you.....

...just because.....

...it was something I had to do...

...and it might inspire someone else to do a similar thing...

...although the subject matter may be very different.

I can't say "Enjoy".

...but I will say "take note"....

....and...

....watch Part 2 of "Shoah" on BBC 4 tonight if you can.

I had Part 1 on the IPlayer as I worked on finishing this book yesterday.

Four and a half hours of memories.

It made the whole thing "come alive" for me as I focussed on my task.




(Making this star made me feel quite uncomfortable. Thinking about those people that must have turned-out thousands and thousands of these "death sentences" for others to wear.)





It had to have a gate on the front cover....

"Arbeit macht frei" - "Work makes you free" was over the gates of all Nazi camps. The one at Auschwitz was the one I used here.

Apologies to any Hebrew readers out there...in case my lettering isn't perfect! It reads SHOAH - "catastrophe" - the name by which the Holocaust is known.





Striped camp clothing and number of prisoner. Coloured triangle marked out religious denomination. Yellow was for Jews.

(The number was plucked out of the air. I have no idea to whom it may have been assigned...nor do I intend to look. I want it to be "anyone" to me)








Map of the area....and camp plans


Pictures of prisoners. I used the ones that I found most poignant ...and ones with people looking straight at you through the lens of the camera. Connecting across the miles and years.












Not very good photos of the whole thing...





...finished off being tied together with shoe-laces...

You can probably guess why.....


I went to bed last night feeling that a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders.

Strange how things take you (or make you) isn't it?....or not...


There it is.

C

8 comments:

Penny said...

I'm left speechless and ever so sad, filled with the inhumanity that fills history. My life is blissful and I am so very blessed that is it -- but I try not to forget that for many people throughout history and NOW are going through terror and pain and death. Its very, very much a disservice to our 'family of man' to ignore such things and very painful to take them into your heart. Thank you for your posting.

deanna7trees said...

you did a wonderful thing....remembering and telling so just maybe it will never happen again. your Hebrew letters are perfect. if only we could stop all the hate in this world. makes us realize how lucky some of us are and to learn to appreciate what we have.

Connie Rose said...

What a beautiful tribute, Chris! Totally brilliant in every way. Thank you.

Gillian Salmons said...

Your piece of work and the obvious commitment to making it and getting it right has touched my heart and I think this was a truly wonderful thing to do.

ViDerTextil said...

it's by doing those things, telling that part of history over and over again, that maybe, justy maybe, one day, human will learn ... at least I hope so.

PaulineC said...

Very powerful work Chris.

Chris Gray said...

Thank you all for your comments....It means a lot...

x C

Shoshi said...

Chris, I found this post incredibly moving. You have made a truly marvellous tribute in memory of those who were murdered in the holocaust. Your Hebrew letters are beautiful, too. It must have been very hard, and very emotional to make this, but how cathartic too.

This year there seemed to be a lot more on TV about the Holocaust to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day, and I thought it was sensitively done.

When I went to Yad Vashem and went through all the rooms which tell the account of the dehumanising of the Jews, progressively from the first prohibitions to the death camps, I spent a long time in the room dedicated to the Warsaw Ghetto. I was becoming overwhelmed by the sheer numbers and needing to narrow it down to something more personal, and suddenly I was aware of a Jewish man wearing a kippah standing beside me - he only came up to my shoulder - and he turned to me from the photograph we were both looking at, and said, "I remember that! I was there." I have never forgotten this, and often think about that unknown Holocaust survivor.

Thank you for sharing a moving tribute.

Shoshi