An enigmatic and powerful Artist's Book with the Holocaust as the subject. The artist titled the first page, Holocaust Dance of Death Against the Jew, Even God Does not Want Me.
The binding makes a statement even before the large (18"x13.5") book is opened. A Holocaust victim's tattooed bare arm (carved overlay) holds a metal Star of David. Metal hardware protects the corners of the thick wooden boards, and a heavy metal drawer handle opens the work. Brass pins around the boards hold the silk-like pastedowns tight. On the rear board is a metal Lion of Judah.
Inside you are presented with a calligraphic manuscript of beauty and horror. Strangely, the pages are not originals, but large and extremely high-resolution photographs of original artwork, mounted onto the book's sheets, and framed with a holographic gold ribbon.
The artistry is masterful, showing heavy influences of calligraphy, scrolling medieval capitals and grotesques, Gothic lettering, and (I see) touches of William Blake's work. The artist also incorporates architecture themes, with several scenes overlaying geometric renderings resembling an intricate geometric domed ceiling.
The descriptions provided are powerful and unique to this volume. They reveal an author intimately knowledgeable regarding the Holocaust. I've done many exact word searches for phrases in this volume and have found no matches.
The author knows names and details revealing that they are/were close to the sources of information. For example, a very specific incident is attributed to a Commandant Roch at Buchenwald. In searching for other accounts of this incident, I found nothing, nor barely any mention of Roch at Buchenwald.
This is not a typical allied forces post-war pat-on-the-back either. The author calls out failures on both sides of the lines in protecting the Jews. For example, there is a page recounting the two times Romania tried to turn Jewish refugees over to the allied forces and they were refused (1942 and 1944).
There is no white-washing of the events. The author presents atrocities against women, children, babies, etc.. Horrific to read, but important to remember what is possible if evil is allowed to advance.
The first approx. forty pages are dedicated to the different concentration camps (although there are a few other works interspersed within) and the last twenty are about people, events and places relating to the Holocaust.
I can only present several clues to the authorship: 1. it was produced about 1990; there is a page dedicated to the war criminal Alois Brunner, regarding an arrest in 1987 (which, unbelievably, did not lead to his conviction) and on a different page there is a reference, "throughout the 1980s" and, 2. on the page dedicated to Flossenburg, the author writes, "Signed - a Victim"; I'm unsure if they are stating that they were victimized by Flossenburg, or if they're quoting someone else.
I have searched and searched for this artist to no avail. I would love to attribute the work; it is powerful and deserves recognition. If you know who made this, please let me know.
I greatly hope this goes to an institution. It needs to be seen and shared.
If copyright didn't apply, I would scan it and self-publish it because I think it is one of the most powerful things I've seen on the holocaust. But, because it was produced around 1990, it is the artist's intellectual property and I have no way to contact them for approval. Again, if you know who made this please let me know. I would be open to scanning all the art, and putting it into self-published book form for the artist.
Physical Attributes -
Measures approx. 46 x 40 x 5 cm. Self produced binding; wooden boards hinged with door hinges. Thick wooden arm overlay to front board. Brass hardware on front (Star of David and drawer handle), back (Lion of Judah), and around edges (corners and pins holding cloth paste-downs). Purple cloth pastedowns. 61 leaves. Art only on recto (right side), so 61 pages. Art is a high-quality photograph overlaid on a sheet with holographic tape framing it.
See pictures. Some dust and rubbing to the purple cloth used around the edges of the binding; frayed at the top and bottom of the spine (just barely) and sunned when compared to the pastedowns (inner covers). Some occasional small tears to the page edges. White underlying pages toning near edges.
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