Journey to zero

Andreas Helle

People bring back memories from traveling. I, on the other hand, took memories with me on my trip to eastern Poland. Images of unimaginable mass murder in extermination camps. Treblinka or Sobib r: these are names for an absolute zero of evil defined by Germans. Yet almost none of what the Shoah did to Jewish shtetlekh and villages in eastern Central Europe left visible traces today.
Museums and memorials are reminders of the gap that death once ripped. They are important. These places are meant to reassure us. They give hope that remembering will prevent a repetition of evil. They cannot reassure me. Again and again my ideas of the past overlay the present. I looked for signs of horror in the beauty of the landscape.
I searched for images that give expression to my continuing shock. They are postcards from the journey to the zero point.