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135. A Day for Remembering

Updated: Mar 24

By Giulio D'Ercole


Last December I was in Paris for a few days, experiencing a gloomy, general strike (against the French Governmental new law on retirement), and rainy weekend. Even in these unfavorable conditions shooting there was bliss and a wonderful opportunity to dive into the very special #frenchatmosphere (after almost twenty years).

One of the must-visit places on my list was the #centrepompidou, where I went seeing two amazing exhibitions: one about #FrancisBacon and one about the #Holocaust by #Christianboltanski.

For the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorating the tragedy of the Holocaust, occurred during the Second World War, causing the deaths of 6 million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators, I want to post a different photo, One of the many I took at Christian Boltanski's art installation. No need to explain it or spend words about it, the face of the child and the numbers behind him speak more than anything else.

I just want to share some information on this very day: it was created by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 60/7 on 1 November 2005 during the 42nd plenary session.[2] The resolution came after a special session, that was held earlier that year on 24 January 2005 during which the United Nations General Assembly marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. In fact, on the 27th of January 1945, Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration and death camp was liberated by the Red Army.

Yes, sixty years were needed to establish a date to mark the most absurd, cruel, crazy, inhumane act of meticulously engineered violence against one specific group of people, the Jewish people. The intent of this resolution was to urge every member nation of the U.N. to honor the memory of Holocaust victims and to encourage the development of educational programs about Holocaust history to help prevent future acts of genocide, religious intolerance, incitement, harassment or violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or religious belief.

Though, today, in a world of ever-growing conflicts, of deeper differences between North and South, East and West, and even in days of the most lethal war of all, the one between the human species and the environment, we must ask ourselves if that intent has been respected, if the teaching has been truly successful, and if the words of peace, tolerance, and understanding have been heard, if spoken at all.

Children are still looking at us, either from the past or from the future, they look at us. Let's not fail them.


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All photographs by Giulio D'Ercole.

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