Peter Maria Schäfer: Traces

Kat. B12 Kulturzentrums August Everding Bottrop

Exhibition catalogue, edited by B12 August Everding Kulturzentrum
preface (German/English/Polish) by Gabriele Hannen
48 p with 24 coloured illustrations
300 x 210 mm, hardcover

ISBN 978-3-86442-281-2

24,80 €


Peter Maria Schäfer (* 1961), photographer and filmmaker, had already once honored Holocaust survivor Tadeusz Szymanski (1917–2002) with his journalistic work in form of a film. Now he is dedicating a book to him with a series of impressive photographs that he has taken since the mid-1980s at the former extermination camp Auschwitz, as well as in the town’s Judengasse. Tadeusz ­Szymanski, who was severely ill at the time of his admission to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1941 and therefore already selected, did survive because they wanted to study the pathogenesis of typhus on him as a living »subject of research«. In 1945, on a transport to Buchenwald shortly before the ­arrival of the Soviet Army, he managed to flee ­during a stopover on Czech territory. As early as 1946, Szymanski together with other former ­prisoners, was involved in the preservation of the camp complex in Auschwitz and the local establishment of a memorial. At the Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau, he mainly looked after visitors during the 1950’s, fought for the establishment of an international youth educational center and, until his retirement in 1977, directed the collections of the camp’s museum. Tadeusz Szymanski, who is considered a pioneer of Polish reconciliation with Germany, was awarded the Theodor-Heuss-Medal in 1986.