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Museum für Fotografie: Flashes of Memory. Photography during the Holocaust | 24.03.-20.08.2023 | extended until 28.01.2024

Editors’ Choice

Addendum: The highly acclaimed special exhibition of the International Memorial Yad Vashem at the Berlin Museum of Photography will be extended until 28 January 2024 due to continued public interest. More than 40,000 visitors have already seen the exhibition, which takes a critical look at the visual documentation of photographs and films taken during the Holocaust. The educational and outreach programme accompanying the exhibition will also be extended accordingly.

Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, in cooperation with the Kunstbibliothek of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the Freundeskreis Yad Vashem e.V., presents the highly acclaimed exhibition Flashes of Memory. Photography during the Holocaust at Berlin’s Museum für Fotografie (Museum of Photo-graphy). Featured for the first time in Germany, the exhibition presents a critical account of visual documentation – photographs and films – created during the Holocaust by German citizens and Nazi propaganda photographers, by Jewish photographers in the ghettos, and by members of the Allied forces during liberation.

Image above: Aryeh Ben-Menachem, Mendel Grossman secretly photographs the deportation of Jews from the ?ód? Ghetto, o.J., © Yad Vashem Archives

The exhibition focuses a spotlight on the circumstances under which each photograph was captured. It shows how the worldview of the documenting photographer – both official and private – influenced the image captured, while emphasizing their different and unique viewpoints of the Jewish photographers as direct victims of the Holocaust.

DEED NEWS - Zvi Kadushin - Vashem
Zvi Kadushin, Jews collecting potatoes in the Kaunas ghetto, September 1943, © Yad Vashem Archives

For the German Nazi regime, photography and film played a crucial role in manipulating and mobilizing the masses. These forms of propaganda were an elementary part of the National Socialist ideology. Conversely, the work of Jewish photographers during the Holocaust was part of their struggle for survival – depicting the living conditions of those incarcerated in ghettos. For the Jews, unsanctioned photography in the ghetto was punishable by death. Nonetheless, it was critical for them to document the atrocities so that the truth could one day be transmitted to all of humanity.

Upon liberation, the Allies recognized the need to document what they discovered in order to, combat future denial of these atrocities, justify their enormous losses on the battlefield, and gather evidence for upcoming war crimes trials. They were guided by the desire to educate the German population in the “spirit of democratic values.”

Flashes of Memory displays photographs, films and artifacts, including cameras from archives and museums in the US, Europe and Israel.

DEED NEWS - Flashes of Memory. Fotografie im Holocaust - David von Becker
Flashes of Memory. Photography in the Holocaust, exhibition view Museum für Fotografie 2023, © National Museums in Berlin / David von Becker

The exhibition curated by Director of the Yad Vashem Museums Division Vivian Uria was first opened in Jerusalem in January 2018 for International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The exhibition in Germany also includes an outreach educational pro-gram funded by the Federal Agency for Civic Education, the Sal. Oppenheim Foundation, and the Volkswagen Group.


Museum für Fotografie
Jebensstraße 2
10623 Berlin-Charlottenburg


Exhibition duration:

Friday, 24. March – Monday, 20. August 2023
Tue + Wed 11 am – 7 pm, Thu 11 am – 8 pm, Fri – Sun 11 am – 7 pm

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