Auschwitz tours

Auschwitz tours
Tamara Moyzes
Oil on canvas, video, family latter

The author engages with the term ‘Holocaust tourism’ as dark tourism. By relying on her family background she delivers an installation, constructed by landscape paintings of Auschwitz nature and confronts it with advertisement and the horror of her family. She included to her installation the last letter from her great grandmother which tells the family horror story before the transport.

Family latter:

My dear, beloved children,
I don’t know at the moment if I will stay, so in the short little time I might have (shall the good God want that it will not be short) I am still writing you. If it wasn’t enough that I am running around because of my siblings (to the nacelnik no living person can get, he is always together with 2 delegates from the ministry, none can get close to him) I wanted to take them out based on the documents – today a horrible complication occurred, we are all trembling because of it and now it is about our life. This disgraceful Georg, instead of hiding in a hole (poor Alice she is in a foreign place waiting for Sunday when the transport will leave) out of pure curiosity today was walking in the courtyard and peeked in through the window of the neighboring house, behind which 800-900 people are squeezed together in a big storage place. The guardists, realizing from inside the continuous peeking, that was suspicious for them, 3 of them went to the neighboring house, pushed him to the wall and caught him. They took him to the guard room at the concentration spot where at the moment an Usb (secretary of the ministry) together with the gardists leads the collection of the people and when they asked who is he, what is he, he referred to the rabbi. Face to face with the rabbi the rabbi didn’t recognize him, in addition he has foreign citizenship, when he came up with the name Berkovits. The gardists were looking for me in Uj everywhere, I was just on my way to Uj from home to talk to the rabbi about the Bertas, when the rabbi tells me: “Good you came, they were looking for you everywhere, some foreign folk, suspected spy, refers to you. They want you to stand in front of him face to face, they want to interrogate you the gardists with the secretary of the ministry, come with me immediately.” You can imagine how I feel. They led me to the people of the Usb and the gardists, I had to answer a bunch of questions of the delegate Usb and I approved him as my son-in-law. The Usb delegate (secteray of ministry, that is how they call him) among other things told me this sarcastically: “Velmi zvedavy Vas pan zat. No nevite preco?” Then they let me go. I have seen Georg at the gate next to the wall, was not allowed to talk to him, full of gardists around him and he is still there. Immediately I went to poor Alice (Berger Tibor was with her who saw when they caught Georg and saw everything and they warned him much before to stay inside, not to walk around in the rain in the courtyard and not to peek into the concentration spot) – and I told it all to Alice. Poor thing she was breaking her fingers, I supported her and immediately she went back home in case they were looking for her. This is how we are at the moment! We are packed and waiting to go any minute as a punishment because of Georg, specially as today many people were taken who had documents, whose document was signed properly by the nacelnik. Among many others Reicher (?) with his whole family, whose document was sent by the ministry itself to the náčeelník. So tell Andor, if God forbid I was taken and I will not have time to answer his rude letter, not to think so highly about that yellow paper, cause plenty of other owners of completely legitimate licenses were also taken. So neither Berta nor Aranka would benefit from that piece of paper and they don’t even work in business or the industry. Their family even less. If God is merciful and us, the elderly will remain here, I will write you tomorrow, if God forbid, not, let this be my farewell letter.

God will be with you, we love you incredibly, all our thoughts with you. Kiss Magdus and Tomyka instead of me.
Kissing you Dad and Mom

Gardist: soldier of the Hlinka-army
Usb: Ustredna Statnej Bezoecnosti