As we enter the sixth day. I wish we could construct a complete chronological event with the photo’s every detail, put in place every-link, so that we can remember and construct the past through these photographs.
I am not sure if Mendel Grosman was thinking in these terms when he photographed or was telling his friends to photograph him? was he just capturing moments?. This we shouldn’t forget that he instructed even some of his friends like Arie Ben Menachem or Nachman Zonabend who were not photographers to just click.
We know through written accounts from them for sure that he did this he must have set his other Leica camera’s shutter-speed and aperture and off they went and just clicked. Today’s picture we have him shooting a deportation, this picture the photographer is not known he is shooting him from the top with Mendel in the center kneeling taking a picture and the Ghetto police at the right side of the frame-but the composition is so well placed, imagine this picture if it had been shot from below little above eye-level.
(Photo also by Mendel Grosman on arrivals in the Lodz Ghetto)
Now here he is shooting and it fits the theme, people are arriving in the Ghetto there above they are deported and they are going to taken by rail roads even when we watch most of the photographs of the arrival at Birkenau.
These are some of the things I am trying to connect with the most important aspect, the Evidence, it was all about leaving a Evidence, cause he knew the fate of the people who were being deported and he knew even his own fate, as he was described by his artist friend Pinchas Shaar also known as Pinchas Scharw as a small man physically rather weak, with a asthmatic condition, he knew in the back oh his head that they would all have no grave-sites, cause nobody would even know where they were taken only these PHOTOS could be the last Evidence….
(Photo by Mendel Grosman in Lodz Ghetto)
“Once upon a time in Lodz”…. he wanted to create a photographic world depicting every man, women and child bringing them all back to life, and all together in one place with him in it, maybe that’s why Mendel photographed them, and himself and Izrael Lejzerowicz is remembered especially for the drawings and paintings of people and scenes in the Litzmannstadt Ghetto of Łódź during the Nazi occupation, some of them based on photographs by Mendel Grosman or others, since artists were not allowed to draw in the open air they used photographs like yesterday we saw a painting of his the one below.
(Painter Izrael Lejzerowicz photo by Mendel Grosman)
If you compare the painting above and the picture below you see the same backdrop of the bridge, you can see the painter Izrael Lejzerowicz with a framed canvas painting in his hand under his coat, maybe he asked Mendel to shoot this picture for his painting of Mordechai Chaim? or maybe Mendel just shot his picture and then gave it to him and Izrael liked it, and used it? there are many possibilities?
The idea that photographs could bring them back to life metaphorically indicates the powerful presence photographs can have, the photographs may or may or not instantly tell the story, but when we ponder on it look at it carefully, we will see the complete picture unfold before us this is what I intend to do these thirty-two days and later bring the missing links back to life ….
Contiue seeing and watching and please do share your own personal thoughts and send your inputs..