Art and the Holocaust

The theme for our July meeting

Many interesting and sometimes divergent views were discussed by a panel comprising of Emmanuel Santos (photographer), Jacques Wengrow (artist), and Dena Lester (artist and photographer). We extend our thanks to Emmanuel, Jacques and Dena for their contributions to our July meeting and we wish them continued success in their individual artistic pursuits.

Some of the points discussed include:


©Emmanuel Santos

Emmanuel Santos

A gentile born in the Philippines, Emmanuel witnessed some barbaric acts committed against his own family. This became a catalyst whereby he resolved to expose inhumanity wherever possible. It is not surprising that he has developed a strong connection with Jewish suffering during the Holocaust. In 1993 Emmanuel joined a group of Australian Holocaust survivors and second generation and attended the ceremony to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in Poland. Emmanuel showed us some of the photographs taken during this memorable trip. He indicated that he hoped his photos would be used as a trigger for those who have not learned from the past. He believes no-one is immune from the atrocities which occurred during World War II. While in the Old City in Warsaw, Emmanuel saw a group of Polish skin heads handing out anti-semitic literature and commented: "Life goes on in Poland. They still hate Jews. Why? What have they done?"

Jacques Wengrow

Jacques was a youth when World War II broke out. He was separated from his family in the French countryside. What Jacques experienced has haunted him throughout his life. It took him many years to re-create some of these horrors on canvas. He frequently became physically ill when painting his labour of love: "The Holocaust". "The Holocaust" is in miniature and depicts some 6,000 tortured souls. It is currently on display at the Jewish Museum as part of the "Art and Remembrance" Exhibition. It is a modern day masterpiece and should not be missed.

Dena Lester

Dena showed a collage of Holocaust related art by various artists including herself. She is critical of artists who use the Holocaust as a vehicle to build their own reputation and gain notoriety. To Dena the Holocaust is sacrosanct. She stressed that these were her own personal views.

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