‘The Holocaust Did Not Begin with Killing; It Began With Words.’

“I would say to young people a number of things, and I have only one minute. I would say, let them remember that there is a meaning beyond absurdity. Let them be sure that every little deed counts, that every word has power, and that we can do — every one — our share to redeem the world despite of all absurdities and all the frustration and all disappointments. And above all, remember that the meaning of life is to live life as it if were a work of art. You’re not a machine. When you are young, start working on this great work of art called your own existence.”

— Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel in 1972, quoted from this 2012 On Being Interview

Untitled (jew) William Anastasi. 1987. The Jewish Museum.

“The Holocaust did not begin with killing, it began with words.”

“The task (of perfecting the world) is not yours to complete, but neither are you free to desist from it.” — The Talmud

Untitled (Tears) Claire Fontaine. 2013. The Jewish Museum.
Untitled (Tears). Claire Fontaine. 2013. The Jewish Museum.
Alios Itzhak, from the series The World Stage: Israel. Kehinde Wiley. 2011.

“The prominent star, the action of cutting her hair, and, hung on the wall, a humble shirt reminiscent of a concentration camp uniform remind the viewer of the indignities Jews suffered during the Holocaust. The specter of the Holocaust, which loomed over post-World War II Italy of Mauri’s youth, determined his core artistic vision. The non-Jewish artist made this work at a time when he felt his compatriots were forgetting their fascist past. His body of work, however, goes beyond reenacting the horrors of the yesterday, alluding to the continued presence of ethnic intolerance and its normalization throughout the world.”

Small Closet with Shirt. Fabio Mauri. 1971. The Jewish Museum.

Writer, Journalist & Educator. Author of I Can Write The World & a few other books. joshundasanders.com

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