Jesse is joined by Laura Mandel, executive director of the Jewish Arts Collaborative, to discuss “Memory Unearthed: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross” with Kristen Gresh, the Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh Curator of Photographs at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.
This upcoming exhibition tells the story of Henryk Ross, the bureaucratic photographer for the Jewish Administration inside Poland’s Lodz Ghetto. Unofficially—and at great risk—Ross documented the complex realities of life under Nazi rule, from the relative privileges enjoyed by the elites to the deportation of thousands to death camps at Auschwitz and Chelmno. Hoping to preserve a historical record, Ross buried his negatives in 1944. He returned to them after Lodz’s liberation, discovering more than half of the original 6,000 survived. We talk about how Ross was able to save these photos, how he took them and what photography means to us today.