Museum für Fotografie
In collaboration with the Kunstbibliothek and the Freundeskreis Yad Vashem e. V., the Israeli Holocaust remembrance centre Yad Vashem is showing its much-admired exhibition Flashes of Memory: Photography During the Holocaust for the first time in Germanyat Berlin’s Museum für Fotografie. First displayed in January 2018 in Jerusalem, the show presents a critical account of visual documentation – both photographs and films – created during the Holocaust by German and Jewish photographers, as well as by members of the Allied forces during liberation. The exhibition shines a spotlight on the circumstances of the photographs and the worldview of the professional and amateur photographers.
Photography conveys the impression that it faithfully reflects reality, but at its core, it is an interpretation of reality, because the worldview, values and moral beliefs of the photographer influence the choice of the subject matter and the way it is presented. Whenever photographs are consulted as historical documentation, it is important to shine a critical light on these aspects.
For the Nazi regime, photography and film played a central role in manipulating and mobilising the masses. These forms of propaganda were central components of Nazi ideology. On the other side, the work of Jewish photographers formed part of the struggle for survival among the people locked up in the ghettos, and was a key component of their activities in the underground. This work was intended to document the tragedy that was befalling the Jewish people and convey information about it, often at great personal risk.
The Allied armies understood the value of photographing the camps they liberated and documented the liberation process, bringing in official photographers and encouraging soldiers to capture the Nazis’ atrocities as evidence for future war crimes trials and in an effort to re-educate the German population in democratic values.
For this exhibition, photographs, films and cameras from archives and museums in the USA, Europe and Israel have been brought together. Flashes of Memory: Photography During the Holocaust is curated by Vivian Uria, curator and director of the Museums Division, Yad Vashem.
The exhibition will also be accompanied by an extensive education and audience engagement programme, supported by the Federal Agency for Civic Education and the Freundeskreis Yad Vashem e. V. A German-language catalogue will also be published.
A special exhibition by Yad Vashem, in collaboration with the Kunstbibliothek – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Address / Getting there
U-Bahn: Kurfürstendamm, Zoologischer Garten
S-Bahn: Zoologischer Garten
Bus: Kurfürstendamm, Zoologischer Garten
Admission / Public health measures