Tuesday, October 17, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Roman Vishniac (1897 – 1990)


Renowned Russian-American photographer of poor Jews in Eastern European ghettos in the 1930s.
Page 1 of 1
Roman Vishniac
...can you call a farm with a dozen geese a farm? Still, it was a little better for the Jews in Czechoslovakia. There were only two pogroms there. What's two pogroms?
Vishniac quotes
Even before the concentration camps, I felt it was my duty to my ancestors to preserve a world which might cease to exist.
Vishniac
The purpose of photography is the transmission of a visualized sector of life through the medium of the camera into a mental process that starts with the photographer's thinking about the subject he photographs and is continued in the mind of the spectator.




Vishniac Roman quotes
You can't teach biology with a bottle containing dead animals and organisms.
Vishniac Roman
[The Jews who roamed through Moscow looking for work] had a special kind of face ... a special kind of whisper and a special kind of footstep ... They were like hunted animals.
Roman Vishniac quotes
I read the first edition of 'Mein Kampf' when it came out in 1923 and even then I knew Hitler meant what he said. I knew the history of anti-Semitism going back for centuries, and I knew all about pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe. When I grew up and whent to school in Moscow, I experienced anti-Semitism and the restrictions on where Jews could live and work. Hitler systemized anti-Semitism. Pogroms are my business... Oh yes, I could be a professor of anti-Semitism.
Roman Vishniac
These are the faces of children I embraced and kissed and loved. I cannot imagine that they are dead, that none would survive... A million and a half children among the six million... But this I knew... I wanted to save their faces, not their ashes.
Vishniac Roman quotes
My friends assured me that Hitler’s talk was sheer bombast,” Vishniac said in 1955. “But I replied that he would not hesitate to exterminate those people when he got around to it. And who was there to defend them? I knew I could be of little help, but I decided that, as a Jew, it was my duty to my ancestors, who grew up among the very people who were being threatened, to preserve — in pictures, at least — a world that might soon cease to exist.
Vishniac
Concentration camp money... It was a German sadism that invented it. Can you do anything with it? Yes, you can cry.
Vishniac Roman
[his scientific accomplishments] were overshadowed by the photographs he took of Jews in prewar Eastern Europe and in Nazi Berlin. -- Shepard, Richard
Roman Vishniac
I met him in 1966, and discovered how undiscovered he was. -- Cornell Capa




Roman Vishniac quotes
The Jews of the shtetls that Tolstoy remembered were saints... the people I photographed were saints. So now, in 1983, I tell the world: When you learn about Goethe, don't forget to study the Holocaust, too.
Roman Vishniac
[Roman Vishniac is] the official mortuary photographer of Eastern European Jewry. -- Leon Wieseltier, editor of The New Republic
Vishniac quotes
Vishniac came back from his trips... with a collection of photographs that has become an important historical document, for it gives us a last minute look at the human beings he photographed just before the fury of the Nazi brutality exterminated them. Vishniac took with him on this self-imposed assignment... a rare depth of understanding and a native son's warmth and love for his people. ~ Edward Steichen, ex-director of photography at the Museum of Modern Art, in the 1950s.
Vishniac Roman
In addition to his charisma and obvious talents, he was also known to possess what Howard Greenberg, Vishniac’s longtime gallerist, identified as “one of the bigger egos on the planet.”
Vishniac Roman quotes
Those images have proved to be an extraordinary record, made with forebodings of misfortune, that bring alive the flavor of the shtetl, of a Jewish peasant tending geese in the Carpathian Mountains, of tumbledown shacks in the Jewish quarter of Lublin, Poland, of Jewish patriarchs, in long caftans and wearing the furry hat called a shtreimel, trudging through the snow. -- Shepard, Richard
Roman Vishniac
[His photography was a] guiding force for visual interpretation [of Schindler's List].
Roman Vishniac quotes
“No one who hasn’t tried it can comprehend the careful planning, the diabolical perseverance and the incredible skill it takes to obtain the [photomicroscopic] results he gets,” the magazine quoted Philippe Halsman, former president of the American Society of Magazine Photographers, as saying of Vishniac. “The man is a special kind of genius.”
Page 1 of 1


© 2009–2013Quotes Privacy Policy | Contact