Self Portrait at Buchenwald:It's the Real Thing
Digitally manipulated Photograph
Date: 1991–1993


"There is a political irony and tragedy at the heart of Holocaust debates. The Holocaust was a product of Imperialism and the politics of race and it is now used to justify further Imperialist ‘humanitarian’ interventions around the planet in the quest for a New World Order. The Holocaust was a result of a blindness to racial ideology, now we are blind to its uses for further ideological purposes. Schechner is telling us to look harder, to search beyond the apparently ‘real’ surface of our political and media representations and to question whether images are real or not? Why and what are these images used for? Instead of calling for an end to discussion, for closure and censorship, we should do what these images teach us, to ask more questions about what the Holocaust means. It is trivializing the Holocaust to reference its cause in ‘human nature’, that humans made the holocaust and because we are humans, the Holocaust could happen at anytime, in any place, for any reason. Schechner does the opposite, he places it in history and politics and asks us to consider the society in which the Holocaust happened and in which it is now being used to justify further atrocities. His work doesn’t let the Nazis off the hook but ask us to re-question power and responsibility in terms of modern politics and to question everything we assume and consume about the Holocaust be it the news media, Hollywood representations or state Museums and memorials."

—Alessandro Imperato