Opening Reception: Wednesday, February 27, 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Pictures of Resistance:
The Wartime Photographs of Jewish Partisan Faye Schulman
February 27, 2013 – April 24, 2013
The Oregon Jewish Museum
We are pleased to partner with the OJM on this exhibit.
The majority of European Jews during the Second World War had no idea that the Nazis were conducting a meticulous disinformation campaign to convince them that they were going to work camps instead of being exterminated. Yet between 20,000- 30,000 Jews escaped from Nazi ghettos and camps to form or join organized resistance groups. Known as partisans, their lives depended on their ability to remain unseen undocumented and unidentifiable. One such partisan, Faye Schulman, carried her camera. Schulman’s rare collection of images captured the camaraderie, horror and loss, bravery and triumph of the rag-tag, tough partisans – some Jewish, some not—who fought the Germans and their collaborators.
Faye Schulman is the only known Jewish partisan photographer who took pictures of Jewish partisan resistance. Born Faigel Lazebnik to a respected Jewish family in Lenin, Poland, she was introduced to photography at the age of ten by her older brother Moishe who ran the town’s only photography studio.
In 1941 Germany troops occupied eastern Poland. Jewish men were deported to labor camps and Jewish women and children were imprisoned in a ghetto. As the only remaining photographer in the area (her brother moved away before this time), Faye’s skills made her valuable to the Nazi’s and her life was spared when the rest of the ghetto’s 1,800 Jews were massacred.
Eventually escaping from the Germans, Faye joined a Russian partisan brigade in the forests along the Polish-Russian border. For more than two years, she documented the camaraderie, horror and loss, bravery and triumph of the partisans, through the artistry of her photography.
In Pictures of Resistance, Faye’s remarkable photographs and moving narratives make the images real, impressing upon the viewer the horror of war, the lessons of revenge, and resolution and the resilience of one woman’s spirit. The exhibit poses probing questions about the life of the only known Jewish woman partisan photographer. Why did Faye Schulman become a war documentarian at great risk to her life? How did she get photographic supplies, much less develop the film? How did she manage to survive as one of the few Jewish women among the Partisans?
Pictures of Resistance is a traveling exhibit produced by the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation, curated by Jill Vexler and made possible by Thomas and Johanna Baruch, the Epstein/Roth Foundation, the Purjes Foundation, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, the Koret Foundation, the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture, the Holocaust Council of UJA Metro West, and Diane and Howard Wohl.
The mission of the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation is to develop and distribute educational materials about the Jewish partisans and their life lessons in order to bring an understanding of heroic resistance against tyranny to educational and cultural organizations. For more information please go to www.jewishpartisans.org.