591 Exhibition:12 Nazi Concentration Camps - James Friedman

Survivors' reunion, Natzweiler-Struthofconcentration camp, near Strasbourg, France, 1981

12 Nazi Concentration Camps
Motivated by a need to explore visually one of history’s most notorious periods, I traveled to Europe to photograph the Nazi concentration camps and subcamps in Austria (Mauthausen), Belgium (Fort Breendonk), Czechoslovakia, (Theresienstadt Ghetto), France (Natzweiler-Struthof), Germany (Bergen-Belsen, Bisingen, Dachau, Flossenbürg and Vaihingen an der Enz) and Poland (Auschwitz-Birkenau, Majdanek and Treblinka). I chose to use an 8” x 10” view camera and color film making my pictures counterpoints to the historical black and white photographs and films, which documented the Holocaust.

Mannequin of Nazi SS officer,  Fort Breendonk concentration camp, near Brussels, Belgium, 1981

Survivor of three Nazi concentration camps, survivors' reunion,
Majdanek concentration camp, near Lublin, Poland, 1983

About 12 Nazi Concentration Camps
“James Friedman’s photographs of Nazi concentration camps, discussed in my first book, Memory Effects: The Holocaust and the Art of Secondary Witnessing, is a body of work that is not only compelling and sensitive but convincingly ranges across complex emotions from the profound to the humorous. Friedman’s ’12 Nazi Concentration Camps’ is arguably the most significant body of photographic work on the concentration camps in the post-Holocaust era and constitutes an important challenge to the largely sacralized and romanticized work of other photographers on this topic. 

Rodent and my passport, Dachau concentration camp, near Munich, Germany, 1981

His exploration of the elegiac impulse of second and third generations to return to the sites of the catastrophe offers an uncompromising and original strategy for the memory work of later generations.”— Dora Apel, PhD., W. Hawkins Ferry Chair in Modern and Contemporary Art History, Department of Art and Art History, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

Visit James Friedman Photographer

Thank you James. I am proud to have you as a contributor to 591. - Mr Urbano


Rhonda Boocock said…
amazing series...Thank you for sharing it with us!
Anonymous said…
Good photogrpahs, gogod dodcument. I miss just one word, that we may never foreget: these all were German Nazi camps.
Mama Lu said…
Not all concentration camps during the war were Nazi conc.camps. There were some French, Croat and even Czech one for Gypsies. Personally I this these here pics are too gimmicky to claim any documentary value.