Rediscovering Traces of Memory
The Jewish Heritage of Polish Galicia [Second edition]
Jonathan Webber, with photographs by Chris Schwarz and Jason Francisco
Chris Schwarz was a much-travelled British photojournalist who in Poland teamed up with Jonathan Webber to work on the Traces of Memory project and in 2004 opened the Galicia Jewish Museum in Kraków to showcase his photographs as a way of bringing the story of the Jewish heritage in Polish Galicia to Poland and to the world. He died in 2007.
Jason Francisco is an acclaimed American photographer, artist, essayist, and activist employed at Emory University, Atlanta, as an associate professor in photography studies in the Department of Film and Media Studies. Widely exhibited nationally and internationally, he is the author of several books and numerous photographic exhibits. His work is inspired by a deep concern for the Jewish heritage of eastern Europe.
Jonathan Webber is a British social anthropologist. He taught Jewish studies at the universities of Oxford and Birmingham before taking up a professorship at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. He retired in 2016. He currently serves on the board of the Galicia Jewish Museum and is founding chair of the European Association for Holocaust Studies.
Author’s Prologue A Photographer’s View Map of Polish Galicia Introduction 1. Life in Ruins 2. Glimpses of the Jewish Culture that Once Was 3. The Holocaust: Sites of Massacre and Destruction 4. How the Past Is Being Remembered 5. The Revival of Jewish Life Epilogue A Note on Galicia, Place Names, and Sources Index
REVIEWS OF FIRST EDITION:
'This is a story in photographs—lush, beautiful, and haunted . . . Webber is doing a great service to those looking for a more sophisticated approach to contemporary Jewish Poland and the uncomfortable co-existence of past and present in the landscape.'
- David Shneer, East European Jewish Affairs
'Interaction between image and analysis often tells a different story than the photograph alone would . . . Even more than written documents, perhaps, photographs underscore the challenges of accessing history beyond memory. Webber's analysis and Schwarz's photographs accomplish more than finding traces. Rediscovering Traces of Memory tries to reach beyond a Jewish memory of Poland that is at once nostalgic and skewed by the Holocaust’s shadow. They trace the shaping of memory, progress in overcoming barriers to dialogue, and the limits of remembering.'
- Karen Auerbach, H-Judaic
'Astonishing book . . . The photography is outstanding, adding much to the poignancy of what the images portray . . . A complex subject has been imaginatively handled by dividing the book into five sections suggesting different ways of approaching it . . . Webber, whose narrative is thoughtful and understated, deals sensitively with relations between Poles and their Jewish past, pointing out that much of the history of the war is still contested and remembered differently . . . This is a beautiful and informative book that provides an inspiring introduction to Poland's Jewish heritage.'
- Carla King, Irish Times
'Schwarz's photos are striking, incisive, and heartbreaking.'
- Robert Leiter, Jewish Exponent
'Beautifully produced . . . gives many more people access to this remarkable record of what remains of the rich history of the Jews in Poland after the devastation of the Holocaust. Most striking is the freshness of the images, and the lack of clichés. The tragedy stares directly from the pictures but not in the form we are familiar with . . . buy the book, study the images and read the text. It gives a remarkable and moving insight into what Poland—and the world—has lost.'
- Julia Bard, Jewish Socialist
Size: 210 × 218 mm
1 map and 100 colour illustrations
Publication: June 20, 2018
Series: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization