Posts tagged David Shneer.

Georgii Zelma, “The First Common Graves,” Stalingrad, 1942

A lonely image of a Soviet cemetery in Stalingrad, one of the many common graves that dotted the war-torn landscape, reminds us of the cost of war. Bedframes mark the edge of this place of death as a makeshift headstone with a Soviet star stands sentinel at the far end of the photograph. (via TIME)

This photograph is part of the Through Soviet Jewish Eyes: Photography, War, and the Holocaust exhibition, based on David Shneer’s book of the same name, on view at the New York Museum of Jewish Heritage until April 7, 2013.

more on the Through Soviet Jewish Eyes exhibition

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Dmitri Baltermants, “Grief,” Kerch, Crimea, January 1942 

One of the earliest Holocaust liberation photographs, Grief was originally a news photograph that circulated widely in the Soviet press throughout 1942. At the time it was taken, the photographer, Dmitrii Baltermants, was documenting Nazi atrocities for a traumatized Soviet population. Soviet wire services sent the image around the world, but few news outlets picked it up, fearing that the photograph was Soviet propaganda. The image re-appeared in the 1960s, when the Soviet Union began remembering World War II, or the Great Patriotic War as it was known there, as the great triumph of Communism. (via TIME)

This photograph is part of the Through Soviet Jewish Eyes: Photography, War, and the Holocaust exhibition, based on David Shneer’s book of the same name, on view at the New York Museum of Jewish Heritage until April 7, 2013.

more on the Through Soviet Jewish Eyes exhibition

Dmitri Baltermants, “Behind Enemy Lines,” 1941

A formation of Soviet cavalrymen is in fact of partisan units, risking their lives by riding out in the open. Baltermants’ photograph edifies the partisans, who played an important role in undermining the German occupation of parts of the Soviet Union. During and after the war, partisans were heralded as the bravest fighters against Nazi fighters, and the only ones living under German occupation untainted by the possibility of collaboration. (via TIME)

This photograph is part of the Through Soviet Jewish Eyes: Photography, War, and the Holocaust exhibition, based on David Shneer’s book of the same name, on view at the New York Museum of Jewish Heritage until April 7, 2013.

  December 25, 2012 at 12:22pm via TIME

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Evgenii Khaldei, Budapest Ghetto, 1945

A part of the Through Soviet Jewish Eyes: Photography, War, and the Holocaust exhibition at the CU Art Museum, based on David Shneer’s book of the same name.

Most view the relationship of Jews to the Soviet Union through the lens of repression and silence. Focusing on an elite group of two dozen Soviet-Jewish photographers, including Arkady Shaykhet, Alexander Grinberg, Mark Markov-Grinberg, Evgenii Khaldei, Dmitrii Baltermants, and Max Alpert, Through Soviet Jewish Eyes presents a different picture. These artists participated in a social project they believed in and with which they were emotionally and intellectually invested—they were charged by the Stalinist state to tell the visual story of the unprecedented horror we now call the Holocaust. 

These wartime photographers were the first liberators to bear witness with cameras to Nazi atrocities, three years before Americans arrived at Buchenwald and Dachau.

Through Soviet Jewish Eyes helps us understand why so many Jews flocked to Soviet photography; what their lives and work looked like during the rise of Stalinism, during and then after the war; and why Jews were the ones charged with documenting the Soviet experiment and then its near destruction at the hands of the Nazis.

Reblogging because the curated exhibition Through Soviet Eyes: Photography, War, and the Holocaust is coming to New York!

Professor David Shneer will be attending the exhibition’s opening at the New York Museum of Jewish Heritage on November 15, 6-8pm (event info). Register by November 7.

The critically acclaimed exhibition will run from November 16, 2012 - April 7, 2013.

In America, Jewish communal leaders continue to wring their hands over high rates of interfaith marriage, low levels of Jewish observance among new Jewish immigrants, the lack of connection to Israel among large numbers of American Jews, the death of Yiddish, and the failure of the younger generation to “keep the faith.”

Fears. All of them. Fears that Jewish life is dying around the world. Fears that Israel will be driven into the sea if Jews don’t push back in defense. Fears that if American Jews don’t stop marrying non-Jews, there won’t be any Jews left in fifty years. Fears that if American Jewish leaders do not send Jewish teenagers to Israel and do not build another Holocaust museum, the next generation will not identify as Jews and the memory of the Jewish past will be lost.

In our many years working in Jewish education and in Jewish communities, across the United States, in Russia, and Israel, we rarely hear people exclaim, “Wow! Jews in America are doing a wonderful job of building Jewish culture, education people, and fostering dynamic visions of a Jewish future.” We rarely hear positive comments about the changing relationships to Judaism or the new Jewish ways of raising children being developed by interfaith families across the country. Although many lament the “lack of Jewishness” among recent Russian Jewish immigrants to both the United States and Israel, we seldom hear or read about the new forms of Jewishness these immigrants bring with them. Too few Jews celebrate the renaissance in American Jewish immigrant literature, the like of which has not been seen since the first half of the twentieth century. We rarely hear anyone describe Moscow as a vibrant centre of contemporary Jewish life or recognize that Russian is growing in importance as a language of Jewish life, literature, and culture. And hardly ever do we hear people say, “Maybe we’re putting too much emphasis on Israel and not enough on our own Jewish communities.”

Caryn Aviv & David Shneer, New Jews: The End of the Jewish Diaspora (2005)

(via sovietjewry)

(via sovietjewry)

Evgenii Khaldei, Budapest Ghetto, 1945

A part of the Through Soviet Jewish Eyes: Photography, War, and the Holocaust exhibition at the CU Art Museum, based on David Shneer’s book of the same name.

Most view the relationship of Jews to the Soviet Union through the lens of repression and silence. Focusing on an elite group of two dozen Soviet-Jewish photographers, including Arkady Shaykhet, Alexander Grinberg, Mark Markov-Grinberg, Evgenii Khaldei, Dmitrii Baltermants, and Max Alpert, Through Soviet Jewish Eyes presents a different picture. These artists participated in a social project they believed in and with which they were emotionally and intellectually invested—they were charged by the Stalinist state to tell the visual story of the unprecedented horror we now call the Holocaust. 

These wartime photographers were the first liberators to bear witness with cameras to Nazi atrocities, three years before Americans arrived at Buchenwald and Dachau.

Through Soviet Jewish Eyes helps us understand why so many Jews flocked to Soviet photography; what their lives and work looked like during the rise of Stalinism, during and then after the war; and why Jews were the ones charged with documenting the Soviet experiment and then its near destruction at the hands of the Nazis.

It is not surprising that Russian Jews — who love their treyf, enjoy their Christmas trees and keep away from synagogues — leave American, Israeli and German Jews wondering what to think. Perhaps they should begin by considering the notion that Russian Jews have something of great value to contribute to the Jewish world.

Olga Gershenson & David Shneer, "From Russia With Lessons in Transnational Jewish Identity-Building" (The Jewish Daily Forward)

Rather than approaching the Russian Jewish experience with presumptions of what it means to be Jewish and how Russian Jews do (or more likely don’t) measure up, some are asking what being Jewish means to Russian-speaking Jews.

For most Russian Jews, the primary ways of understanding Jewishness are not through synagogues, Hebrew schools and bar mitzvahs. In the Soviet Union, Jews were identified by their passports, which clearly marked their ethnicity as Jewish. Today, Russian Jews continue to see themselves as ethnically different. They also see themselves as distinct from other Russians because they possess different peer networks and have different educational and cultural expectations. For them, Jewishness is less about religious practices and more about ethnic and social relations.

Olga Gershenson & David Shneer, "From Russia With Lessons in Transnational Jewish Identity-Building" (The Jewish Daily Forward)