A look into … the archive

Chaim Glick
Chaim Glick

In October 2011 Sister Elija handed over to the Memorial Site archive black-and-white photographs which she had taken of survivors of the Dachau concentration camp for the last twenty years. Sister Elija is active at the Carmelite convent Dachau since 1966. She began her photographic documentation of the Memorial Site grounds with color slides. The outcome, ultimately unsatisfying for her, was: a Memorial Site without people, empty. Since 1988 she has used her meetings and encounters with former prisoners to engage in discussion, to hold interviews, and to take photos, now in black and white. The result is more than 100 photos with which Sister Elija has sought to get closer to the history of the location.

Pim Reijntjes
Pim Reijntjes

The idea to hold an exhibition was born in 1996, as the photos became known. “Wer Augen hat zu sehen…” was first shown in Catholic organizations and then in several educational institutions throughout the whole of Bavaria and nearby countries. Almost every time the exhibition was opened by Max Mannheimer, who has provided Sister Elija with many contacts.

Sister Elija is now pleased with her decision. “It takes nothing away from my personal memories. Indeed, I very much hope that they can contribute to remembering the past and perhaps even prove to be an archival aid,” explained Sister Elija.