Through Soviet Jewish Eyes: Photography, War, and the Holocaust (Paperback)David Shneer (author)
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Most view the relationship of Jews to the Soviet Union through the lens of repression and silence. Focusing on an elite group of two dozen Soviet-Jewish photographers, including Arkady Shaykhet, Alexander Grinberg, Mark Markov-Grinberg, Evgenii Khaldei, Dmitrii Baltermants, and Max Alpert, Through Soviet Jewish Eyes presents a different picture. These artists participated in a social project they believed in and with which they were emotionally and intellectually invested-they were charged by the Stalinist state to tell the visual story of the unprecedented horror we now call the Holocaust.
These wartime photographers were the first liberators to bear witness with cameras to Nazi atrocities, three years before Americans arrived at Buchenwald and Dachau. In this passionate work, David Shneer tells their stories and highlights their work through their very own images-he has amassed never-before-published photographs from families, collectors, and private archives.
Through Soviet Jewish Eyes helps us understand why so many Jews flocked to Soviet photography; what their lives and work looked like during the rise of Stalinism, during and then after the war; and why Jews were the ones charged with documenting the Soviet experiment and then its near destruction at the hands of the Nazis.
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 645 g
Dimensions: 178 x 175 x 20 mm
"This book provides visual evidence that promises to revise significantly popular and historical understanding of the Holocaust as it occurred in places, unlike Auschwitz, where there were no survivors."
"A fascinating and meticulously documented history."
"Shneer's book challenges the accepted rhetoric that came out of the Cold War''s distortions of Soviet history. In particular, Shneer examines previously neglected work to show that the often-repeated claim that the Soviet Union's attempt to cover up Nazi atrocities is not only untrue, but completely the opposite. Jewish photojournalists in Russia were able to keep Nazi atrocities on the front page and continually emphasized the Jewish aspect of Nazi violence."
"An excellent history of Jewish photographers in the Soviet Union from the Bolshevik revolution to the post-Stalin decades following WWII. Shneer not only traces the essential role Jewish photographers played in the creation of photojournalism in the Soviet Union, but also chronicles the manner in which these elite artists photographed the war against Nazi Germany (the book includes many rare photos). Highly recommended."
"In this handsomely produced volume, David Shneer offers a compelling and nuanced analysis of how photojournalists plied their craft as photographers of the early Soviet experience. Through Soviet Jewish Eyes is as much about photojournalism as a profession as it is about documentation of the Holocaust and Soviet Jewish identity. A first-rate book that is intellectually ambitious, cogently argued, and analytically sophisticated.