The Return to Zdunska Wola…

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The 4 Quadrants
The 4 Quadrants

“Return to Zdunska Wola”  shows, from my point of view, the  disappearance that occurred in 1942 with the liquidation of the Jewish ghetto by the Nazis and  the assassination  of almost my entire  Zdunska Wola family

This return and renewal was made possible by K’amila Klauzinska, citizen of the city,  (involved with the history of Zdunska Wola and Jewish studies),  who saw my work on Facebook and invited me to participate in the cultural and artistic events, this month, in the Museum of Zdunska Wola, by an exhibition of my works screened on TV…(see below the invitation).

This in some way summarize and  shows the path of return to Zdunska Wola 2014 of myself and my family , 72 years after 1942….

My works in this exhibition are not meticulous drawings, on the contrary thy  where created in moments of pressure of the events in 1941, but, by a person who lives  in 2014 and remembers his own fears as a child hidden from the Nazis for four years in Belgium (1940-1944).
Still the drawings are “ordinary” but supposedly created in Zdunska Wola 1941, 72 years back in time as if I where some kind of alien coming from the “Planet  2014 … ”

And Indeed my signature at the bottom of the works symbolize this: “2014………Z.W. 1941…..”name  of the work”,,,,,,, שלמה “… Something like a code or more exactly- a password to my past, named Zdunska Wola.

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An untold story
An untold story

,THE invitation;

Dear ZdunskaWolers around the globe:

  1. The Second Festival of Three Cultures 3K will take place in Zdunska Wola on June 27-28. The Festival tries to include modern artists who represent three cultures: Polish, Jewish and German, so three cultures which used to live together in Zdunska Wola before the WWII. Especially the artists connected to Zdunska Wola are welcome. The Museum of Zdunska Wola together with the Cultural Center of Zdunska Wola and the Town Office will organize a gig in the garden of the museum. The following Israeli artists will be here with us: Music band Kerach Tesha. They will give only two gigs in Poland – the first one at Zdunska Wola Festival, and the second one at The Life Festival in Oswiecim where they will be supporting Eric Clapton and Polish music star Edyta Bartosiewicz:  http://lifefestival.pl/en/news/Ice-9-and-ABBY-at-LFO,53.html
  2. We wish to announce that during the Second Festival 3K the exhibition of Shlomo Korzac will take place in the Museum of Zdunska Wola. The exhibition will include also videoconference with Shlomo Korzac. Please visit Shlomo’s official website: https://kafee.wordpress.com/

To see a short film on his works: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmWD0Nv6fa4&feature=share

 

An Untold Story 2
An Untold Story 2

And a final word, a considerable number of the drawings are in a comic format  ….see here Art Spiegelman,  and here.

 

A Technicality: changing Theme.

To my readers and visitors:

I change my PressRow theme to the Cutline theme, both coded by Chris Pearson, Otherwise the blog remains the same blog as before.

UPDATE: To may great surprise and dismay I found that my new Cutline theme has been changed to the Coraline theme. A quote from an angry blogger is very close to my own feelings :

..”Other than that, it looks like WordPress dropped the ball, eh?  I mean, I’m still a bit stunned, after all this  changing of  the Cutline theme to Coraline. I log in and everything is changed.  My theme is gone. A new one in it’s place, and all my sidebar stuff has disappeared!  And NO..they were not in the “inactive widgets” pane, either.”…read more on the Pill Dust Logic blog

A Tribute to Art Spiegelman

Art-Spiegelman-comics-art-001

Art Spiegelman.

I am a great admirer of  of Art Spiegelman’s unusual work in comics and beyond. Today I pay him my personal tribute on the occasion of his new exhibition at the gallery Martel in Paris. Here are few of his  unpublished works, see more on ‘Pixelcreation’ in French.

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Click to enlarge.

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Here are two pages from the graphic book “Maus: A Survivor’s Tale” who sold  over a million copies. The book tells the horrors of the Holocaust in an unique way, see more here.

maus1

mause2

It is interesting to read the reviews by readers of  ‘Maus’,  members of the ‘LibraryThing‘ site:

…”This two-part graphic novel is a Holocaust autobiography featuring white mice as Jews, cats as Nazis, and wartime Europe as an enormous mousetrap. Using a deeply personal, reflective and rhythmic tone, the author peels off the layers of a cast of well-developed characters, centralizing around a Holocaust survivor and his son. The plot of this Pulitzer Prize winning narrative jumps between past and present with two storylines: one focusing on the Holocaust experience and one focusing on the father-son relationship. With its complex themes and unconventional format, Maus is a challenge to describe. Fiction, biography, autobiography and history, this work rises above genre to become an exceptionally unique work, an amazing story destined to become a classic. Despite being set in the Holocaust, what emerges from this comic-book masterpiece is a story of love, loyalty, and hope.”… Source: see here.

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More comics drawings from the exposition at the gallery Martel.

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Click to enlarge.

“Waltz with Bashir” Banned in Lebanon

Ari Folman
Ari Folman

With the publication of the  new graphic novel adaptation of Ari Folman’s, “Waltz with Bashir,( see below for the graphic pages), it is interesting to remember that despite the interdiction to screen the movie in Lebanon the opposite occured…” just a week ago was the animated movie  given its first underground screening in Lebanon — not far, in fact, from Hezbollah headquarters in southern Beirut — though the film is officially banned in that country. It has also been screened in Palestinian Ramallah and is reportedly soon to be shown in the Arab Gulf states.”… see  here.

Menassat.com , a Lebanese website focusing on news trends and events reports :

…”Whether Waltz With Bashir wins the Oscar for Foreign Film or not, audiences in Lebanon—the subject of the film—will not get to see it on the big screen. Like all Israeli products, Ari Folman’s film is banned in Lebanon. Except, that is, for a few lucky people in Beirut last Saturday”…

…”Mitri,  (Lebanese Information Minister) who says he opposes censorship, admitted to Agence France-Presse that “the ban is absurd because you can download it on YouTube.”

“We need to abolish that law so that we can see films like this and any other films and then, if you abolish the censorship law we have, then whoever is harmed can take the matter to court,” Mitri said”…

The Menassat interviewer asked Monica Burgmann, who run UMAM and the private screening of Walts with Bashir:  how did people react to the movie?

BURGMANN: “When the movie was over there was total silence. There was not even a discussion. But I noticed that the film touched many people. Some even had tears in their eyes. One person told me, ‘I envy this Israeli filmmaker because he was able to document a history us Lebanese, should have documented.’

Another question was…” Do you really think that the ban is because of the boycott of Israeli goods? Or are there other reasons, such as preventing sectarian clashes? ”

BURGMANN: “I think the Lebanese civil war is taboo. I also think that there is not enough effort to document the Lebanese history. They use sectarian clashes as an excuse… Can’t they see that looking into our past can really prevent us from making the same mistakes twice?”

For the full article see here. More can be see here On Ya Libnan, (‘Waltz with Bashir’ film copies in Beirut despite ban).

With the release of the graphic novel, here is an excerpt of the interview by Liel Leibovitz with David Polonsky, the artist behind the  novel, telling his part of the story, I quote:

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David Polonsky
David Polonsky

“In film,” he said, “you, the artist, have the audience in your hands. You control the flow of time. In comics, the reader holds you in his hands, and he controls time. Another difference is that the film appeals more to the heart, while the book appeals more to the mind, because the reader is expected to use his imagination much more. So the book, I think, is more suitable to convey the information, to tell the story in details, and the film has more of an emotional impact. I think people cry in the end of the film, and I don’t expect anyone to shed tears after reading the novel.”

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Waltz with Bashir
The graphic novel: Waltz with Bashir

The discrepancies between the two media became immediately clear to him when, following the film’s success, he began to adapt his original artwork into graphic novel form.

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“The drawings were all made especially for the film,” he said. “We did not originally think of turning it into a graphic novel. The book, then, turned out to be much more of a learning experience for me. I learned a lot about the medium of comics. The main thing I hope I gained as an artist is the ability to give up a strong image in favor of a strong story line: I already had the drawings, the building blocks, but the goal of the book was to convey the story as a whole, and I sometimes had to let go of beautiful artwork in favor of the narrative. For me, that’s a very important lesson.”….

…”Still, he added, two rules guided him as he created the often surreal world of Waltz with Bashir.

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“The first guideline,” he said, “was to create a feeling of authenticity. There’s an emphasis on the feeling, because, for all of the reasons we just discussed, like the fact that I wasn’t there, you can’t create something that is truly authentic. The second guideline, put simply, is compassion. I wanted to draw people, not caricatures. I wanted to try and load up everything—the cars, the people, the animals—with a real sense of existence.”…for the full interview see here.

Tomdispatch.com released, in two parts, pages from the graphic novel adaptation of  “Waltz with Bashir”. Here are 6 beautiful pages  from he graphic novel.

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waltz014

waltz041

waltz23

waltz73

waltz851

waltz91

For more pages see here, (part 1 release) and  here,( part 2 release) on Tomdispatch.com .

I like Google’s Chrome browser

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I never post anythings about browsers. But this time, for Chrome, the brand new beta Google browsers, I made an exception. The cause is that I like his spartan almost ‘nude’ graphic look . Usually the graphic look of all the important browsers like IE7 , Firefox3 , Opera9.5 and Safari   is based on the same graphical principles: like in a good car design all the steering tools are crowded  around the driver seat to achieve maximum availability and comfort.
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'Ghost World',Clowes
 
To my great surprise Chrome  does exactly the opposite, there is nothing to see, the design is minimalist, the main tools being the tabs and the address bar, also serving as the search bar. Is this comfortable? Well after some surfing to understand ‘the ghost machine’, I forget about toolbars, status bar and explorer bar.They are hidden but you now where they are if you need them.
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The minimalist look of Chrome reminds me of Daniel Clowes’s comics ‘Ghost World’. The same neat not overcrowded line, the empty space in the drawings. Chrome’s release is supported by a comics booklet beautifully done by Scott McCloudl , explaining how the browser works.
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 My first impression was the incredible fast surfing experienced, something like surfing…with ease, in the fresh air, on vacancy, far away from the dreadfully heavily armed browsers.
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 Will all this be enough to storm the average user who is used to work with his own preferred browsers ? I guess that as a first step, like me, many Internet surfers will be impressed. It is up to Google to add more tools (the older browsers are equipped with), but with the same discrete and hidden design, not to interfering with the freshness of the surfing experience, wich is all the fun.

German New Comics

Germany launches comic book on Holocaust.
I quote..”New book part of effort to combat anti-semitism in Germany, which has a rapidly growing Jewish community”..”Created by the Dutch cartoonist Eric Heuvel”…”The book, based on fact, describes how Jews in Germany and the Nazi-occupied Netherlands experienced the genocidal Nazi persecution that took the lives of 6 million European Jews.”…” Through pictures and realistic dialogue, the book depicts the suffering and humiliation that Jews endured as they were stripped of their livelihoods, ostracized and, finally, sent to camps to be worked to death or gassed…”[The] comic book is called “The Search,” and tells the story of Esther, a fictional Jewish survivor of the Holocaust.”…see here.
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The Search
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Comics book and Holocaust is an oxymoron: something like “being dead”. It is hard to find some comic attributes in this gigantic massacre. Looking at the comics and their style reminds me directly of “Tintin et Milou”, the know comics characters made by the Belgian Georges Rémi, alias Hergé.
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Tintin et Milou
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Now, the “Tintin style”  has the same oxymoron quality by trying to illustrate a feroce reality of death with beautiful drawings.  Taking a look at the Eric Heuvels drawings and comparing them to the real photos of the Nazi regime, we see:
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1933 - Nazis stage boycott of Jewish shops and businesses
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Boycott pickets outside No. 79 Grindelallee, 1st April 1933.
Boycott pickets outside No. 79 Grindelallee, 1st April 1933, see more.
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The Night of the Long Knives
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200 synagogues were burn
“SS leader Reinhard Heydrich reported 7500 businesses destroyed, 267 synagogues burned (with 177 totally destroyed) and 91 Jews killed”, see here.
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Transport of Jews. 1941
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Razzia of Jews
The first major raid in the Amsterdam jodenbuurt, at the end of February 1941. At the Jonas Daniel Meyerplein were arrested, driven together, see more.
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I am aware that the German edition of this comics book is intended for pupils of the German schools . But there are people, much older, in their fifties and sixties, who remember the veritable atrocity of the Nazi Era-  atrocity embellished here for an educational purpose by the Tintin-style style and so perhaps leading by inadvertence kids or parts of the today general public to  made the colossal unforgivable mistake that the Holocaust is a super comics adventuresee here and here.
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I published this story on NowPublic and add here the comments by  NowPublic editors and contributing members.
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good stuff:korzac, interesting observations, thank you for posting.

However, I think that there is a place for the graphic novel to tell the stories of tragedy. In relation to the Holocaust, I think the best example is the Maus series. And In the Shadow of No Towers, Spiegelman’s graphic novel about 9/11 he presents another tragic topic in this medium.

To be specific about Art Spiegelman’s ‘Maus’, he sets the stage, to show by a ‘metaphorical’ rude way of drawings and telling the storie, that the tragedy is on the limit of the visible, another planet, created by the Nazis. A graphic novel  like ‘The Search’ is a nice superficial didactic ‘skin’ having its own legitimacy, but it is only a facade. “Maus” is not a facade..

ryan, thanks for the comment and the flag

I appreciate that distinction.Do you think Spiegleman’s work is different becuase of his personal history and experience?

Art Spiegelman’s work is different because he has an unique talent to make it different. He was born in 1948, after the war. His ‘experience’ comes from the history of his family who did not survive the Holocaust. “Maus” is the story of millions of Jews based on this own recollection of his family story. I can see myself as a kid and my family in Belgium and in Poland, in the characters of ‘Maus’. I cannot see the same in the graphic novel ‘The Search’.To do this I need the real photos. With ‘Maus I don’t need photos, I feel the awe the dread and the pain.

good stuff: Constructive discourse about difficult topics, no matter the medium, is positive in my opinion.  Rugs can only hide so much.

Thanks for the comment and the flag.

This story fascinated me, and I had not heard of it before. I think however, with a subject matter as controversial and young as the Holocaust, a comic book has no place here. It will be interesting to see however how the Jewish community in any country reacts to it, and I suppose if it’s well received there then I have no business commenting on it in the first place!

Let it be a movie a book, poetry, visual art and media publication, having as their subject matter the Holocaust, their publication will arise a controversy.The survivors interpret any objective historical study as blaspheming…The Dutch German comics cannot overcome their feelingsBut see what German students say. I quote …..”It sounds a bit blunt but I think it’s dangerous if students can’t differentiate between a Holocaust comic and Mickey Mouse,” said Henning Küppers, a history teacher at a high school in Stuttgart.”….  …”Others point out that “The Search” can hardly compare to other Holocaust comics, in particular Art Spiegelmann’s famous   “Maus” which is considered a classic and a revolution in the genre.”… .”In an interview with Berliner Zeitung, Tobias    Strunk from a specialty comic book shop called the Anne Frank Holocaust comic book “a bit forced.”… see here.

amyjudd,thanks for the comment.

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Four more comics drawings and photos,(not included in the above post)
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Transports of Jews
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Transport Jews Lodz 1942
Loading transports of Jews at Lodz station, 1942, see here.
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After the selection gaz chambers Jews
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Selection Auschwitz
Selection at the Auschwitz ramp in 1944, where the Nazis chose whom to kill immediately and whom to use as slave labour or for medical experimentation, see here.
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Gaz Chambers and Crematorium
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Auschwitz Gaz chamber door
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Gaz Chamber
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ZyclonB
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Crematorium
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Crematorium
Crematorium furnaces in the Gusen concentration camp after the liberation. (May 6-30, 1945) see here.
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