The Holocaust Survivor Project

Seems like it’s been some time since I’ve blogged much here. Been a pretty intense 6 months here on multiple fronts.

I have written in the past here about my involvement with the Dallas Holocaust Museum in relation to some field trips I’ve taken my classes on down there. What drew me more than anything was the opportunity to sit and listen to living survivors share their stories of making it through the ‘death camps’ of Nazi Germany…and believe me when I tell you, no movie, book, magazine articles, etc. can replace the living experience of meeting and hearing them in person yourself.

After my last field trip down there this past spring, I was struck with the reality that these individuals are getting up there in years and most likely will not be around much longer to share their stories. So I contacted the museum expressing an interest and desire to come photograph them should they ever consider such a project.

Living two hours away here in Paris, I figured they would not even respond to my offer. But they did. And what a journey it has been.

We just finished up a 6 month project photographing over a dozen survivors and their families. The museum wanted to feature my work for their annual ‘Hope for Humanity’ dinner this week in Dallas. Apparently it’s a pretty big-to-do event. Roger Staubauch will be the featured guest speaker/honoree. I even have to wear suit! 🙂

But they ended up with about 4 dozen enlargements of photos that have been framed and matted and will be on display at this dinner. Then they will eventually find their way to the museum for an extended exhibit display there.

I have to say this has been an exhausting, yet extremely rewarding and humbling experience for me. To be given the privilege to go in to the homes of these people…sit and visit with them…hear their stories and photograph them and their families is something I will never forget.

I’ve had a number of people who knew I was working on this project ask about seeing the final result of the work and so I post here today a video of the shots I was able to put together.