The Holocaust Kindness Project
Inspiring kindness by remembering the Holocaust through photography.
For over 6 years, I have been photographing memorials to the Holocaust - so far, over 30 memorials in 17 cities 8 countries. This project has been self-funded, but to reach my dream of publishing a book and creating a traveling exhibit, I need to make 3 trips to Europe to photograph well known concentration camps as well as several seemingly forgotten locations.
As I photograph these memorials, I am, of course, crushed by just the knowledge of what humans can do to each other: false imprisonment, torture, mass murder, and inconceivable psychological battles. Yet, even more emotionally powerful are the stories of kindness that appear throughout this narrative of hell.
Albanian Muslims risked their lives and the lives of their families to save over 200 Jews, not by hiding them, but by integrating them into their own society. Their reason -- “Besa”, often translated “to do the right thing”. Over 20 European nations helped thousands of Jews escape near-certain death. The Chinese unconditionally accepted over 18,000 Jewish refugess. The word “kindness” doesn’t even seem to do justice to describe their acts when you consider that the degree to which they put the safety of their families at great risk to save others.
For countries to admit their shortcomings, to preserve these places of horror that would be so much easier to forget, to put their desire to prevent another Holocaust over their own ego, is absolutely an act of kindness. For the survivors, some of whom have become successful, to put their money toward educating the world about the Holocaust rather than enjoy a comfortable life takes an unimaginable sort of kindness. Kindness is not only doing something kind in the moment. It’s about forgiveness, empathy and the desire to heal the world, despite our personal circumstances.
My goal is not only to share the horrors of the Holocaust in hopes of being another voice trying to prevent another Holocaust. I sincerely believe that promoting kindness in all aspects of life is what will really prevent war.
I ask for your support in this endeavor. I am seeking $10,000 which will cover the expenses for one of three trips to Europe. Specifically, the first trip will be to Poland to photograph Auschwitz, Sobibor and 7 smaller sites. The funds will go towards flignt, car, (modest) lodging, food, entrance fees, and a guide/translator.
More detailed information, including the locations, is available here: http://shoahphoto.com