Uncompleted Journey Artistic Responses To The Holocaust

By Linda Dubin Garfield

Behind The Scene/Seen

A visit to Eastern Europe in the spring of 2007 had a profound effect on me. Visiting the beautiful countryside of Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic and experiencing the lovely, sophisticated cities of Budapest, Vienna and Prague left me with a deep sadness that I could not explain. Being in the actual places where the Holocaust happened made me mourn the losses of World War II in a more personal way than ever. Lavish, big synagogues in the wine country of Hungary, now void of Jews, have become state-run arts and cultural centers with no recognition of their former use.  Once thriving with vibrant Jewish communities, these orphaned synagogues left her feeling very depressed, with little hope for a future of Jews in Europe.  Seeing Terezin and walking the grounds that held so much pain and death, even though the Nazis showcased Terezin as the "model concentration camp," transformed the full range of my perceptions, my visual as well as emotional sensibility.

The idea for a series of 21 photomontages based on my trip was born in the narrow streets of Prague, in the rolling hills of Hungary and in the darkened cells of Terezin.  Who could not know what was happening? Who could not see what was going on? What illusions did people accept to mask the Holocaust that was happening outside their windows? Where did the Jewish people go when they disappeared? My series Behind the Scene/Seen deals with the issues embedded in this landscape: reality/illusion, past/present, and history/future generations.

Secrets And Shadows

“Secrets & Shadows: Hidden Children in the Holocaust-”  Children of the Holocaust lived in the shadows, survived on the edges and were changed forever. A great part of this series is inspired by Ruth Hartz’s book Your Name is Renee.

Painted Fire

In this Series, Linda uses letters written before and during the Holocaust years to illustrate fragments of personal histories and how they affect the descendants of these trapped victims.

Linda’s Statement:
"Letters from the Holocaust” offer viewers an intimate glimpse into the lives of those who endured the ghettos and camps of the Holocaust. Often with oddly hopeful messages, the letters give us a glimpse of understanding about what life was like for people caught up in those terrible times. They show tremendous resilience and bravery. These brief, intimate peeks into the lives of the writers are what remembrance is all about — remembering the humanity of each person caught in the Shoah. Some of the mail took many months to reach their destination.  In reading these letters, we see the threads that hold humanity together. Once identified, those threads become the building blocks for our shared existence and hope for a better future.

Remembering The Past, Confronting The Future

With three shows (2008, ‘10, ‘14) artists Linda Dubin Garfield and Elsa Wachs collaborated on the theme of the Holocaust. Together and separately they explored, examined and expressed important issues through their art. In “Remembering the Past, Confronting the Future” they distilled them to combine selected pieces making a powerful progression, sequencing history to affirming action. Their brief, intimate peeks into the lives of those caught in the fiery Holocaust are what remembrance is all about. In these vignettes we see the threads that hold humanity together becoming the building blocks for our shared existence and hope for a better future. Here the viewers are asked to reflect on, deliberate, resolve, and hope- fully pledge to help repair this world.

Contact the Artist for information and to arrange an exhibition:
Linda Dubin Garfield