(Digital) Group Exhibition
»The Lonka Project«
A photographic tribute to the last Holocaust survivors
Initiators and co-directors: Rina Castelnuovo & Jim Hollander
Curator in Berlin: Gisela Kayser (Managing Director & Artistic Director Freundeskreis Willy-Brandt-Haus e.V.)
Digital Exhibition + Online Guided Tours
The Lonka Project is a photographic tribute to the last Holocaust survivors with us today. The Freundeskreis Willy-Brandt-Haus e.V. presents the digital exhibition starting at January, 27th 2021 in remembrence of the day of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp and the victims of the Holocaust. The pictures will initially be shown on fkwbh.de as a virtual exhibition and as guided online tours.
For The Lonka Project throughout 2019 some 250 of the world’s leading professional photographers, in some 26 countries, generously contributed their time and talent, each capturing a Holocaust survivor in a context that makes a unique and memor- able statement about their lives. The body of work forms a traveling photographic exhibition and it is both a diverse, artistic exhibition as well as a major educational showcase. Renowned photo artists such as Gilles Peress, Douglas Kirkland, Steve McCurry, José Giribás, Kristian Schuller, Maurice Weiss or Marissa Roth have contributed to this exhibition.
Berlin, 12.01.2021. The last survivors of the Holocaust still live among us. But who are these people, how do they deal with their history and how could they continue their lives? The Lonka Project shows the mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, wives and husbands and how they could manage their future lifes. A legacy of images for those who soon no longer have eyewitnesses who can make what happened unforgettable.
The Lonka Project was initiated in Jerusalem by Jim Hollander and Rina Castelnuovo as a tribute to Rina’s mother Lonka, Dr. Eleonora Nass (1926-2018). As a girl, Lonka survived five Nazi concentration camps, and represents the Holocaust survivors’ power to live.
“We have seen how the project has evolved and grown into an international collaboration in which so many have enthusiastically contributed their talents. We have consistently received pictures from pho- tographers over one whole year and are grateful to everyone for their efforts.”
The results are photos that carry entire biographies and incomprehensible stories. These are stories like those of two-time Olympian race walker Professor Shaul Paul Ladany, who was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in 1936. When he was eight years old, Shaul survived the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and, as an Israeli Olympian, survived the Munich attack in 1972.
It is also the story of Peggy Parnass, who was born in Hamburg in 1927. In 1939 her mother took the decision to separate from her children and send them to safety. Peggy Parnass became an acclaimed journalist, author and film maker. She wrote hundreds of articles about Nazi mass murders, the Baader-Meinhof Group (RAF) trials, and is considered as an outspoken icon for the gay movement and the oppressed.
And it is the story of Yisrael Meir Lau. In 1945 at the age of eight, he was photographed leaving the Buchenwald concentration camp after his liberation by the US Army. Later he was ordained as a rabbi, became Chief Rabbi of Netanya and was elected Chief Rabbi of Israel in 1993. He was also Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv and was awarded the Israel Prize for his stance on non-Orthodox denominations in Judaism. Also he was awarded the Legion of Honor by France’s President Sarkozy and served for many years as the Chairman of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem.
The Lonka Project aims to keep alive the memory of these and all other Holocaust survivors and forms a hopefully unforgettable educational and artistic photo collection at a time when the challenge of Holocaust remembrance is becoming increasingly difficult.
Supported by: LOTTO-Stiftung Berlin
Online Guided Tours + interviews with contemporary witnesses
To complement the virtual exhibition, free online guided tours will be led (via Zoom) by photography lecturer and publisher Thomas Gust. Held in German. Admission free, no registration required. At some of the dates, the tours will be complemented by interviews with contemporary witnesses.
Details & dates
From February 2021: Additional outdoor exhibition
Some of the photos can now also be seen on the outside facade of the Willy-Brandt-Haus. And for those of you at home, please feel free to explore the virtual exhibition!