Friday, August 28, 2020

A Haunting Place

Edward Burtynsky is a Canadian photographer best known for large scale photography of industrial subjects, but in the case of the National Holocaust Monument, he photographed places in the history of the Holocaust as they appear today. These are etched onto the walls around the Monument, including this one, directly across from the set of panels I left off with yesterday. Site Of Death March, Near Mauthausen, Austria depicts a present day scene of a place where 20 000 Jewish prisoners were force-marched towards those areas still under German control late in the war. 

I found this poignant. Below the panels, someone had left stones and flowers. In the Jewish tradition, leaving stones at a grave is common.

This is another Burtynsky photo. Abandoned Railroad, Treblinka, Poland shows the passage of time and nature reclaiming the old rail line. Nearly a million people were transported to the Treblinka death camp, hidden beyond these woods, along this line.

Behind the wall of the above shot is an antechamber with a flame of remembrance.

Leaving this chamber brings us to two more Burtynsky photographs. Hiding Place, Warsaw Jewish Cemetery depicts a trench below tombstones in the ghetto cemetery.

Prayer Room, Theresienstadt, Czech Republic shows a place that was established in the camp-ghetto at the time of the war- a prayer room created by Jewish prisoners even in the midst of the Holocaust, and a symbol of their own resilience.

Track 17, Berlin, Germany is a current day look at a freight yard where many trains left, carrying victims of the Holocaust to the death camps where their lives would end.

Fence, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland is probably the most difficult of these etched photographs to view. Even in the current day, the place feels chilling. Auschwitz was the largest Nazi killing centre.

I went up to the second level and photographed the view looking east. The Peace Tower is seen at a gap in the trees.

And then I started back down the stairs, photographing into the heart of the monument. It is a haunting monument, fitting for the subject.


  1. Witaj William serdecznie Cię serdecznie pięknie zdjęcia.

  2. A touching monument, let's not forget this horror...

  3. I really do have to make a point to visit this museum.

  4. ...this time in history needs to be always remembered!

  5. Those scenes are quite profound etched into the concrete.

  6. It is important to remember. Especially in this time of COVID, what with chaos to the south, and other parts of the world. It has to get better.

  7. The photos have a sobering effect. Wonderful monument.

  8. You show no people in these photos. How did that happen?

  9. @Linda: I agree.

    @Agnieszka: thank you.

    @Marianne: indeed.

    @David: if you pay a visit to the War Museum, it's right across the street, and the other monument is just beyond that one.

    @Anvilcloud: definitely.

    @Tom: it must.

    @Marie: they are.

    @Francisco: thanks.

    @Jennifer: it must.

    @RedPat: they do.

    @Red: Covid would have less people walking about in general, but there were people departing when I was walking up to it.

  10. Oh my gosh, unbelievable to think that such horror was allowed to happen ✨

  11. Those etchings are beautiful and seem perfect for this memorial.

  12. Both beautiful and sad at the same time ~ quite the photos and memorial ~ Things 'man does to man.' ~

    Live each moment with love,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  13. The etchings are stunning and look great on the memorial.

  14. Appreciate this post deeply William 💞

  15. A very sombre post and rightly so.

  16. It's a wonderful way to pay tribute to the Holocaust. This post brought back memories of when I visited Dacchau in Austria. A very dark part of our world history.

  17. Mesmerizing and frightening at the same time.

  18. These are profoundly beautiful and sad and so striking. Haunting is indeed the perfect word to describe them. Like you, I was touched by the flowers and stones left.