Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Of Life and Loss: The Polish Photographs of Roman Vishniac and Jeffrey Gusky « Photography

Yesterday seemed like just another day but then I saw a headline that WW II started 70 years ago. Stayed up late last night watching a documentary about it on the Military Channel.

Earlier this summer our family had hoped to go camping but 60 degree weather with lots of rain forced us to change plans (we tent camp). So instead of going up north we went to Detroit -- yes I can hear the questions of unbelief. We haven't done much in that part of Michigan so we spent the day at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

One of the exhibits we viewed was Of Life and Loss: The Polish Photographs of Roman Vishniac and Jeffrey Gusky « Photography It has left Detroit but if you get a chance to see it please do. In a nutshell, during the winter of 1938 Jews were being oppressed throughout Poland. A photographer (Roman Vishniac) was hired to chronicle the Jewish communities of that country. Done in black and white the photos are haunting because we know how the story ended. Sixty years later Jeffrey Gusky visited the same places and photographed what he saw.

When WW II broke out there were 3.5 million Jews living in Poland. Today there are barely 20,000. Anti-semitism remains high. One of Gusky's photographs showed a home that was once owned by Jews having been converted to a public restroom. Another sad account was that of Jewish headstones being taken from their cemeteries and then being used to form the foundations of barns. One man has dedicated his life to retrieving those stones and returning them to their appropriate cemetery. I left there wondering to myself, "Haven't these people suffered enough? Can't their graves be left in peace?" Of course I also thought about the theology of Romans 9-11.

NOTE: check out the Unreached Peoples link for today. Interesting coincidence, er, bit of providence.

1 comment:

Kaitiaki said...

In Romans 9-11 Paul shows a desire for his own people's salvation especially in the light of their great privileges and reveals a view of the role of the Gentiles in the Church which does not fit into anti-semitism.

Is it not significant that some of the most consistent in caring about and in going as missionaries to the Jews are those who have a clear grasp of Reformed Theology?