Skip Navigation

Related Works of ArtShare

Tourist family entering gas chamber, Auschwitz

Jill Freedman (American, b. 1939)

Tourist family entering gas chamber, Auschwitz, from Missing Generations, 1994

  • Gelatin silver print
  • 13 x 19 1/8 in. (33 x 48.6 cm)
  • The Jewish Museum, New York
  • Purchase: Fine Arts Acquisitions Committee Fund, 1997-136

Not on view

largeImage

close

Tourist family entering gas chamber, Auschwitz

close

Tourist family entering gas chamber, Auschwitz


In 1947, the Polish Parliament voted to create a museum on the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Today, more than half a million people visit every year to tour the grounds, explore the museum exhibits, and learn about what happened there. In 1994, American photojournalist Jill Freedman toured Eastern Europe, and during her visit to Auschwitz, she took this photograph.

Before telling students the title of the photograph, invite them to comment on it:

  • Describe what you see in the photo. How would you describe the setting? What is the atmosphere like?

  • How would you describe the people? How are they dressed? What else can you say about them? Where do you think this is?


Reveal the title of the photograph to your students. Discuss:

  • How does the title affect your response to the photograph? How does it affect your initial reaction?

  • Do you think the photograph is a form of social commentary? What do you think its message is?


Look at this photograph alongside Margaret Bourke-White's photograph of prisoners in Buchenwald. Discuss:

  • Half a million people visit Auschwitz every year. Do you think it is a good thing that tourists are visiting Auschwitz? Why?

  • Does it honor or trivialize the victims and events of the concentration camps when these sites are turned into tourist destinations?


Dachau, Bank of Wuerm River

Max Becher (German, b. 1964) Andrea Robbins (American, b. 1963)

Dachau, Bank of Wuerm River, 1994

  • Chromogenic print
  • 19 1/8 x 23 3/8 in. (48.6 x 59.4 cm)
  • The Jewish Museum, New York
  • Gift of the Arete Foundation, 1996-45

Not on view

largeImage

close

Dachau, Bank of Wuerm River

close

Dachau, Bank of Wuerm River


This photograph is one of a series that the artists Andrea Robbins and Max Becher took at the Dachau concentration camp near Munich, Germany. Robbins and Becher's photos almost resemble tourists' snapshots, recording the reality of the camp today in all its ordinariness. Regarding this series, the artists write, "We were primarily interested in how inadequately such a place transports the past into the present."

Discuss:

  • Describe what you see in this photograph.

  • What do you think this could be? What clues are there?

  • Is there anything unique or special about this image?

  • Do you think concentration camps (or any places) are inherently special or hallowed? What makes a place special or important?

  • The artists write that in their photos of Dachau they are "primarily interested in how inadequately such a place transports the past into the present." What do you think they mean by that?


Study of Skeleton Playing a Clarinet for the Painting

Felix Nussbaum (German, 1904-1944)

Study of Skeleton Playing a Clarinet for the Painting "Death Triumphant", c. 1944

  • Pencil, gouache, and chalk on paper
  • 10 7/8 x 8 13/16 in. (27.7 x 22.4 cm)
  • The Jewish Museum, New York
  • Purchase: Mildred and George Weissman Philanthropic Fund of the Jewish Communal Fund Gift, 1985-140
  • © 2008 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Not on view

largeImage

close

Study of Skeleton Playing a Clarinet for the Painting "Death Triumphant"

close

Study of Skeleton Playing a Clarinet for the Painting "Death Triumphant"


Felix Nussbaum made this drawing while in hiding, after he had already spent time in a Nazi work camp and before he was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau (click here to learn more about Nussbaum's work).

Discuss:

  • What are the similarities between this figure and the subjects of Margaret Bourke-White's photograph? What are the differences?

  • What do you think accounts for these differences (for example, the difference between drawing and photography, the different perspectives of the artists, the different reasons for which each work was created)?

  • How could each work be considered a historical document of the Holocaust? Is one more "accurate" than the other? If so, why?