When we finally arrived in Birkenau, we heard shouts, ‘Schnell, schnell, raus, raus!’ (‘Quick, quick, get out, get out!’ again). There was much pushing and shouting. We were made to form two columns. The men were separated from the women. It was now obvious that only families with older children had been sent from Theresienstadt on this transport. I was only 15 years old, and among the youngest.
While we were waiting in line, some inmates in striped pyjamas told us out of the sides of their mouths to give them our jewels as they would be taken from us anyway. Mother took off her wedding ring and dropped it into a hole in the ground, which she dug with the heel of her shoe.
from In My Mother's Footsteps (28) © Yishay Garbasz
"In order to do this, I needed to see firsthand what remained of my mother's memories. My mother left parts of her soul in those places, and I intended to go back to collect them. I could only do this through intimate familiarity with the locations. And as I am a photographer, the camera was going to be my tool to help me see."
The Telegraph UK just published a wonderful essay by Yishay Garbasz about her book, In My Mother's Footsteps (published by Hatje Cantz).
Stayed tuned for a Nymphoto Conversation with Yishay Garbasz later this month.
(editor's note: unfortunately this article is no longer available)