World War II officially ended on April 29th, 1945. Holocaust Remembrance Day was first inaugurated in Israel in 1956 and is an official day of mourning. Communities around the world mark this day with meaningful ceremonies and events.
In honor of this day which falls on April 7th this year, I was asked to create works about the Holocaust for a group exhibition at the Bodzin Gallery at the Northern Virginia Jewish Community Center entitled Resistance Through Art. I didn’t have far to look for inspiration – my own mother is a Holocaust survivor and my works reflect the effect which her experiences had on my life.
Here is my artist statement about this photographic series:
Dedicated to my mother Miriam Unreich née Blumenstock, who lives in Melbourne, Australia.
I don’t remember when I became consciously aware of my mother’s Holocaust experience; it was more like a forbidding presence – often unspoken yet very much a part of my formative psyche. Even before I could truly grasp the horrors which she endured, a sensory transference of sorts was taking hold.
It was only much later in life that I came across the term ‘Second Generation Holocaust Survivor’, and that is when I fully understood the intractable shadow that the Holocaust has cast over future generations.
In this photographic series, my mother’s concentration camp number casts an ominous shadow. It is etched on my soul as surely as if it were tattooed onto my own skin.
You can hear Lilianne speak about the works here.