illions of words have published in books, periodicals and media since the end of World War II, including the widely circulated films andphotos of the atrocities in the death camps and ghettos, but the enormity of all that happened during the Holocaust has yet to be explained. Each survivorís story, each victimís story, is different and I cannot get past the feeling, "It could have been me." In some way it was.
As a child, and as a first-generation American growing up in a vibrant Jewish community in Chicago, I felt protected and secure. With the early rumblings of Hitler, my world changed. I gradulally became more aware that anxiety and fear for loved ones left behind in Europe began to permeate my parentsí lives and those of our immigrant neighbors. Letters from my fatherís parents and motherís relatives ceased abruptly at the beginning of the war. After my children were born, I continued to search for the missing pieces. It has become a quest for answers.
Shadows of Auschwitz is a walk-through installation constructed for viewers to entrer, one person at a time. The numbers on the structure are tattoos sent to me by survivors who responded to the work-in-progress. Their names are inscribed on a separate scroll kept in a phylactery pouch. Other numbers are from the 1942-43 ledgers retrieved from Auschwitz.
As Shadows of Auschwitz is an ongoing work, numbers are continually added to the installation and names to the scroll as they are received. I continue to attempt to make sense out of this and other events through my work.