Memoria [EN] No. 14 (11/2018) | Page 30

The curators of the exhibition of the works of David Olère at the Auschwitz Memorial are Agnieszka Sieradzka, art historian of the Museum Collections; the artist’s grandson Mac Oler; and Serge Klarsfeld, Vice-President of Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah, who published the catalogue of Olère’s works in France.

During the opening of the exhibition, Klarsfeld pointed out the fact that no photos were taken inside the interior of the crematoria. "None of the leaders of the Final Solution were eager to know what transpired at particular stages of the extermination, when the SS men involved in the process exceeded all possible standards. Were it not for David Olère, camp number 106144, and his artistic and intellectual skills which helped to recreate the events that transpired here, we could not have visualised what the paroxysm of hatred against the Jews entailed; what selection meant," he said.

"The enormous bright canvases bear the mark of his traumatic experience. In his paintings, we can see not only the extermination process but also his suffering caused by what he saw and experienced here. For many years, his work was misunderstood and underestimated. To date, it evokes conflicting emotions. However, upon looking deeper and closer at these canvases, we discover another historical fact in this visual form; stages of the gruesome extermination process, which was carried out in the largest German Nazi extermination camp of Auschwitz," Agnieszka Sieradzka said during the opening of the exhibition.

"My grandfather David Olère was an artist, painter and sculptor, but above all an important voice that spoke of peace and humanity. He survived the darkest experience of the extermination camp in Birkenau and was a firsthand witness of the tragedy and fall of humanity. He replicated his experiences and memories in his works. He wanted to show the world why such an event should never occur again. He wanted people to experience peace," said Marc Oler.