hrine is an installation that honors the victims of the Holocaust by refusing to let their voices be silenced. In my native Germany, I lived through Kristallnacht and experienced severe violence and social upheaval. I left Germany in 1939 in one of the last childrenís transports to England; however, many of my family members perished.
Shrine evokes the claustrophobic environment of the cattle cars used by the Nazis to transport their victims to the concentration camps. The claustrophobia is emphasized through repetition of photographs of the ovens on the left wall of the installation. On the right wall of the installation are photos of the infamous commander of the Auschwitz camp, Rudolph Hoss. He was tried by the National Tribunal of Warsaw, found guilty and executed at Auschwitz on April 16, 1947.
I believe art has the power to change society. I want my work to provoke thought and debate in the viewer as well as an emotional response. No matter how painful the truth may be, it must be given a voice. Primo Leviís words still resonate today: "How much of the concentration camp world is dead and will not return? How much is back and coming back?"
In spite of the harsh reality of my work, it also addresses healing, hope and community. In a strange sense, the large photo of the Auschwitz oven on the back wall represents hope. People from all over the world travel to Auschwitz to pay tribute to the victims who died there. They place flowers in the ovens and light votive candles. These are the signs of life and hope for future generations.