Monday, November 9, 2009

The other 9th of November

Newspapers worldwide feature today the 20th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Another event that happened as well on November 9th seems today forgotten: Kristallnacht.

Zeek magazine features today photographs by Julian Voloj of the Muensterland, a small geographic area in the north west of Germany. Voloj was born in Muenster, the capitol of this region, and for this project, the New York based photographer re-visited his hometown and the surrounding area, documenting the last traces of the once vibrant Jewish culture in this area. None of the villages he photographed has a Jewish community today, but other areas witness a renaissance of Jewish life. Around 200,000 immigrants from the former Soviet Union turned Germany's sleeping Jewish community of around 25,000 into the third largest of Europe with around 220,000 (only around half of them are recognized by the official Jewish community due to Halachic definition).

Voloj's photographs are traces of the past, taken nearly 70 years after Kristallnacht. Today, 71 years later, they are a silent reminder.
(To visit the slide show, click here.)

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