Artist Daniel Blaufuks’ work focuses on the area of Theresienstadt, or Terezín, in the Czech Republic, a fortified town sixty kilometres to the north of Prague. At the Wannsee Conference in January 1942, the Germans chose Theresienstadt as a “Model Ghetto” for Jews over 65 years old, Jewish veterans from the First World War and known Jewish personalities. The Nazis declared the camp a “ghetto under Jewish authority”, appointing a council of elders with a chairman, but under the authority of the SS. Theresienstadt boasted a functioning library, police force, fire brigade and other civic services, yet in reality the camp was another staging post on the way to Auschwitz or Birkenau.
BB: What first drew you to Terezín to make this work?
DB: I went to Terezín, formerly Theresienstadt, because of an image I had seen long before in a book by the German author W.G. Sebald. I had never been in a concentration camp before, nor have I been since: the photograph was the reason.
BB: What was so intriguing about the photograph?
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Published in Photoworks Issue 11, 2008
Commissioned by Photoworks