When your views on world history begin to encroach on you being an exceptional pioneering color photographer. Below is a link to an interesting interview of Fred Herzog. The interview takes an interesting twist when speaking about his childhood in Germany, Mr. Herzog mentions the “so called Holocaust”. The interviewer’s parents are Holocaust survivors.
9 thoughts on “Fred Herzog and the Holocaust”
The photos are fantastic, but the interview…..I don’t know how she held it together while speaking with him. Very interesting read, Keith.
I cannot fathom the look on her face…
A person’s views on the world are etched forever within their work. Not just one’s words, but the images and what may lie behind them. I can’t help but have his words influence the way I view his work now. To have lived through WW2, see your Jewish neighbors, gypsies, disappear on the guise of “feeding them”, deny what happened to millions, not just Jews, is reprehensible.
OMG. I bought his book last year and really liked it. Now, I’ll never see those pictures the same again. It’s like a Borges story.
I don’t agree with the above comments, I am in sympathy the interviewer and her manner of dealing with a form of Holocaust denial that did not seem to spring from any
inherent racism but from an avoidance of looking at the historical truth. It is very difficult to disentangle a person’s stated viewpoints from their art, and in many cases it does deeply effect my attitude to that art; but in this case, I think the man’s art should be seen as what it is without being degraded. After the war, my parents said every German they met was in complete denial of any knowledge of participation of what had been happening. This was a person who was young at the time, and traumatised himself in some ways, and has probably not wanted to look at the past. I think the interviewer was exemplary.
I agree that the interviewer handled herself with incredible clarity and self control. I don’t know what I would have done in this particular situation. Herzog seemed to treat the war and the Holocaust very matter of factly. Maybe that was his way of dealing with the traumatization. There was a book, I forget the author and title, that dealt with the collective denial of the German people in their dealings towards the Holocaust and the war. No one seemed to know or take responsibility for what was happening. I think that should be a required reading here. How many times have you read a statement by an artist, or read their particular political leanings, that affected how you then looked at their work? I cannot deny that Mr. Herzog is a wonderful photographer and produced a remarkable body of work. I feel compassion. I also can’t deny his words regarding one of the most reprehensible chapters in history. I only hope that now that it is in the open, that he takes a look, not just himself, but at his people, and a well documented history.
You make your point so well, especially when you say you feel compassion for Mr Herzog. Sometimes people arrange the furniture in their minds to suit their interpretation of reality, and it takes something quite massive for them to re-arrange the furniture. It was an important article, thank you for giving access to it. I continue to admire your own photography, you see so much in people’s faces.
Thanks Cara! All the best for the new year!
Good wishes for the New Year to you too, Keith.