Normal: Nazi Germany in Found PhotographsMarch 04, 2016 - July 17, 2016
World War II saw the systematic, state-sponsored murder of over eleven million people, including Roma, homosexuals, the disabled, and more than six million Jews. The crimes perpetrated during the Holocaust were monstrous, but the men and women who conceived and carried out these atrocities were not born monsters. Dan Lenchner, a New York-based photographer, has amassed an impressive collection of found photographs, snapshots of Germans in the 1930s and 40s. The subjects are mostly anonymous, unremarkable except that they wear the uniform and fly the flag of a government that has become synonymous with evil. This exhibition asks us to consider what human beings are capable of when the fundamental principles of right and wrong are overthrown in a concentrated, bureaucratic effort. What deeds are deemed acceptable when they are looked upon with favor by leaders and citizens alike? How were these perverted and sadistic acts perpetrated when “the many were neither perverted nor sadistic?” These photographs explore the lives of Germans who were, as Hannah Arendt writes, “terribly and terrifyingly normal.”
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