Tuesday, October 19, 2010

my secret camera

my secret camera by frank dabba smith has the most amazing photos of the lodz ghetto. mendel grossman lived in the lodz ghetto and kept his camera hidden in his pocket as he photographed everyday moments of jewish people in the ghetto. they are very gentle photos that capture the humanity of these people who eventually endured brutal torture. they are also very artistic photos. when i look at the photos in this book the people come to life unlike other photographs. mendel grossman manages to capture the emotions and personalities of  his subjects.
this book is available in the new york public library in the children's section.. im not quite sure why. its not really a children's book. its also available on amazon.com and bn.com.
i bought this book years ago and im still in awe of these photos.
my most favorite photo is filled with valises and many people just schmoozing. one's eyes can't help but notice two women in this scene who are chatting as if they are in a supermarket . in another corner of this photo there are two ten year old boys smiling as if they are having a grand old time. its the saddest photo because with  the distance of time we all know what happend next to most of these people.these "before"  photos show these  precious souls before they became the skeletons of nazi war footage.
my secret camera  is not a sad book . its a lovely homage to those who perished. these photos attest to how much beauty was erased from this world. their physical beings may be gone, but some of their images are saved in this small photo book .

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