Thursday 23 October 2014

Auschwitz to Aotearoa

Today I spent an hour interviewing an amazing woman, 80-year-old Inge Woolf, matriarch of the Woolf photography family, for a story about an exhibition the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand is running next year to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the hideous GERMAN extermination camp.

I've been to Auschwitz on two occasions; I've seen the gas chambers and walked alongside the train tracks that brought so many innocent people to their death. Like those before me, I've wondered at the absence of bird song across the complex and been horrified at the atrocities that were perpetuated there. Many of the exhibits moved me to tears, particularly the glass display case of artificial limbs taken from prisoners as they arrived. It sounds odd, but there was something so ineffably sad about those prosthetics, waiting for owners that would never come back to claim them. It remains one of the most profoundly moving things I have ever seen.

Anyway, if you are in Wellington in January, get yourself down to the Holocaust Centre to see how nine remarkable Jewish women who survived the camp came to live in New Zealand, as far away from the horror as it was possible to get.

Today's visual is of beautiful woofers, because sometimes we need to be reminded that such beauty exists in the world.

  (Pic credit: Tumblr)



  1. Sharon, I have to second the previous comment. Calling Auschwitz the "Polish camp" is absurd; not using the adjective "German" in your text makes it even more puzzling. These are elementary issues and there is no justification for the distortion that was created. Please make appropriate corrections. Cheers, Marek.

  2. I agree with the previous comment - it is a distortion of history to refer to Auschwitz as "Polish" when it was established in the first place by the Germans to imprison, torture and murder ethnic Polish Christians. I am bemused that while the camp is misidentified as Polish , there is no mention of the identity of the perpetrators - the Germans.

  3. Oh god I am so sorry - an honest hideous mistake as I was rushing to post befor I flew to Europe. So so sorry for any offence caused, am currently in transit in Singapore and will change now on laptop as my phoebe won't let me.

  4. just changed the above - again apologise but it was an honest mistake. I was writing the story about one of the Polish victims featured in the exhibition at the same time as I was posting and in my rush, transposed Polish for German.

    It is an important distinction. Sadly, the inadvertent error is often made.

  6. Thank you for the correction.



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