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Holocaust Education Week Talk by Professor Emerita Carol Zemel: Enduring Witness: David Olère’s Visual Testimony

  • 1:30 PM
  • MNJCC, 750 Spadina Avenue, Rm. 318, 3rd floor

For a crust of bread – decorating letters for the SS

Enduring Witness: David Olère’s Visual Testimony

Among hundreds of drawings made by concentration camp prisoners, images of the killing process are rare. The Scrolls of Auschwitz, accounts of the extermination written and hidden by members of the Sonderkommando (Special Forces) —most of whom were murdered— have been found, preserved, translated and published. Less attention has been paid to the immediate post-war drawings, paintinand sculpture made by artist and Sonderkommando David Olère (1902-1985).

In this talk, Carol Zemel considers Olère’s images as evidence and witness testimony of the Nazi extermination and killing process.

Carol Zemel is Professor Emerita of Art History and Visual Culture at York University, Toronto. Her book, Looking Jewish: Visual Culture and Modern Diaspora was published 2015 by University of Indiana Press. Current projects include Art in Extremis, a study of images made by prisoners during the Holocaust. 

Presented by Congregation Shir Libeynu.  Co-presented with the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre.

This presentation is a part of the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Centre’s 38th Annual Holocaust Education Week, Illuminating the Shadows: Untold Stories of the Holocaust (November 1-8, 2018).


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