[Trending] After Being Rejected By Everyone, I Posted My Colorized Holocaust Photos On Bored Panda And Things Changed Overnight

About five years ago I made a portfolio of colorized images of the Holocaust and reached out to various organizations dedicated to preservin...

About five years ago I made a portfolio of colorized images of the Holocaust and reached out to various organizations dedicated to preserving the memory of this horrific period in history about the possibility of working with them. Many of them didn’t respond and the ones that did didn’t seem interested in colorized images of the Holocaust. They didn’t see what I saw, that colorized images of the Holocaust could help us to relate to the precious lives of the people that we had lost.

I abandoned the project until last year when I saw a news article in the New York Times that had been published on Holocaust Remembrance Day with shocking figures about the number of people who lacked basic knowledge of the Holocaust in the United States. The figures were especially high among Millennials.

I had posted artwork on Bored Panda before and the results had been nominal but it seemed like a good venue to reach young people so I uploaded my images and the results shocked me.

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(Photo of wedding bands found during the liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp)

My email blew up immediately. People wanted permission to post the images on their website, they wanted to interview me, they wanted permission to report on the work. A local high school used the images in their discussion about the Holocaust.

(Photo of Anne Frank)

(Photo of a Catholic girl – Czesława Kwoka – 1942)

The number of views that the article received on Bored Panda alone skyrocketed into the tens of thousands. With news sites from all over the world reporting on the story my expectations were exceeded. I’ve been extremely humbled by this experience.

(Photo from Auschwitz concentration camp)

This year as Holocaust Remembrance Day has come and gone my story has been republished and even more people have seen the images. I was even contacted yesterday by Channel 5 News in the UK about a television interview. Unfortunately, more articles have also been released with similar bad news about humanity’s poverty of understanding concerning the Holocaust. The problem is not endemic but global. The BBC reported that England is suffering from a similar problem to the United States.

(Photo from Dachau concentration camp)

We need to do something to improve the quality of education about the Holocaust because it is an important reminder of the terrible cost of human hatred.

(Photo from Poland in 1939)

While I consistently make work that interacts with social and political issues I do not specialize in colorizing photographs. There are many people who are better at it than I am and so this has all been very humbling for me. I hope that this will encourage people, no matter how imperfect they are, to step up and try to make the world a better place.

(Photo from Poland in 1939)

The most touching and humbling part of all of this has been the emails that I have received from people who wanted to tell me about their families experiences in the Holocaust. I started getting them again a few days ago and it is very humbling. We as humans are all precious to each other. We can’t live without each other. The cost of the lives lost in the Holocaust is unimaginable. We are all poorer because of what happened.

(Photo from Poland in 1939-40)

One of my favorite emails was from a young person whose grandmother had fought in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising and only owned one picture of her. He wanted to thank me and to tell me about her story and show me her picture. When they asked me how they could go about getting the photograph colorized I went ahead and saved them some money and did it for them. I was a bit nervous to hear there response since I know that there are plenty of people who are better at this than I am but they responded that they loved it and that it meant the world to them. I’ve included the before and after images here.

(Photo from Poland in 1939-40)

I’m scared for the world right now. As it is said, “Those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it.” I’m worried that we are forgetting what is truly important. The world desperately needs more love and it needs less hate. This experience has reminded me that while there is a lot of hate out there, there is also a tremendous amount of love and love is a very powerful thing.

(Photo from Poland in 1939-40)

(Photo of a fighter in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising)

Source: BoredPanda


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