March 22nd, 2017
“As a doctor who survived the atomic bomb, I have many missions to go on.
Till today, I lived for that mission.
If I don’t continue talking about the fierce
and unknown diseases caused by radiation; we will not find a cure.”
..March 2017.. ..Hiroshima..
Earlier this week I received the sad news that Dr. Shuntaro Hida died at the age of 100.
Dr. Hida experienced the atomic bomb when he was 28 years old, at a patient’s home 6km from the hypocenter. He treated the wounded almost immediately after the atomic bomb detonated. He continued to treat hibakusha and other radiation affected people until the end of his life.
I photographed Dr. Hida in 2010 at his home in Saitama, Japan. The photograph almost didn’t happen because he had been ill with pneumonia. Luckily he was released from the hospital on the last day of my trip. He was the only doctor I photographed for the project.
March 18th, 2017
..March 2017.. ..Dresden..
..The backdoor of Hansa Straße 3 led to a railway platform which was used to transport Jewish and Roma families, political opponents and POW’s to and from Dresden. As WWII progressed more forced labor was needed to maintain the war industry. Some of that labor arrived at this platform which was secluded from public view because it was a part of the Alte Leipizger Bahnhof, an industrial railway complex.
The deportations which took place two streets away at the Neustadt Bahnhof are well documented. But there is little documentation of the deportations and arrivals of people from this railway junction because the area was controlled by the military and wasn’t visible from the street. People entered on the street through Hansa Str. 3 and a back door opened steps away from a waiting freight car on the industrial tracks.
Today this area is populated by a trailer park community of artists. It’s still secluded from street and there are no markings of what happened here. I learned about it from an elderly man who had heard about what happened from others who lived through the war. He was able to find the little documentation available to confirm the stories.
This industrial railway area was not hit during the bombing of Dresden although it was only a 10 minute walk from the surrounding areas which were totally devastated by the attack. This area was one of the only not to be scorched.
The adjacent Alte Leipizger Bahnhof functioned during the GDR times (East Germany) for industrial use but was closed after reunification. It now stands in ruins after 25 years of neglect. Ironically it now resembles what a war scared building might look like even though it escaped WWII without being hit.
March 12th, 2017
..March 2016.. ..Dresden..
..Always walking with my back towards the west. The light is pastel walking eastward.
It feels like I’m walking into a dream. I’m squinting into a harsh reality when I walk the other way.
March 8th, 2017
..October 2008 ..Senso-Ji, Asakusa, Tokyo..
March 6th, 2017
..February 2017.. ..Dresden..
Dresden firebombing survivors Nora Lang and Anita John in front of their portrait at the From Above exhibition in the Kleines Haus Theatre.
Mrs. Lang and Mrs. John grew up on the same street and have been friends from childhood. Both escaped death during the Dresden firebombings on February 13th, 1945.
From Above was shown as a part of the commemoration program in Dresden. The exhibition featured portraits of firebombing survivors from Dresden, Coventry (UK), Tokyo, Wielun (Poland) and Rotterdam (Netherlands). It was an honor once again to bring the exhibition back to Dresden.
February 27th, 2017
Stolpersteine for Emil Hochberg
..February 2017.. ..Laubegast, Dresden..
Was walking along the Elbe retracing the long journeys that Victor Klemperer’s wife made from Dresden to Pirna because they wore the Jewish star and were not allowed to ride the tram or train.
The walk along the Elbe through Laubegast towards Pillnitz is my favorite. I can’t find the words to describe how the light and sound that comes off the river affect me.
I was walking with my head down and out of the corner of my eye caught the dull grey color of a Stolpersteine (stumbling stone) which I had never seen before. I have walked along the Kleinzschachwitz Ufer many times but never saw this Stolpersteine. A Stolpersteine is a small metal plate laid into the ground of the former residencies where Jewish families lived before they were deported. You have to be looking on the ground to find them because they blend into the ground.
This Stolpersteine was of a man name Emil Hochberg who was born in 1874, deported in 1943 and died in Auschwitz on August 28th, 1943. Most of the families living in Dresden had already been deported by 1943. When I researched I found that he had a non-Jewish wife, which might have spared the family a little bit more time since it was considered a mixed marriage. His wife survived the camps but there is no published information about her after the war.
There are around 20 Stolpersteine in Laubegast but this was the first I stumbled upon.
February 25th, 2017
..February 2017.. ..Staré Mêsto, Prague..
From Hell..How can a place with such grandiose cathedrals also be home to so many people sleeping on the streets?
Is this what my teacher meant by irony? Or what he meant by hypocrisy? I always get the two confused.