Today, on the first day of my next Blue Skies journey to the Buchenwald and Flossenburg concentration camp clusters, I’m yet again traveling through history within the present.
As with your empty seabed, I am struck each time, by the silence. It’s not absolute, but there’s always a felt absence. Walking the grounds of the main camps that are now memorials, one hears only one’s own steps, the crunch of gravel, loudly pulling my thoughts into the present, cutting me off from history and hope alike.
Seldom have I felt such a vivid sense of being alive as in those places; seldom have I sighed so deeply as in those places; seldom have I doubted my existence; seldom have I felt so present. Following your advice I try to speak my thoughts into a voice recorder. But all I can manage is this silence. Maybe it’s what I’m meant to record.
Night is falling. At a former camp in Stulln I turn my car to head back to Nürnberg for the night. Out of nowhere, huge yellow flowers appear in front of me, reflected in my bonnet, my headlights illuminating the gates. The church bells toll in the distance. The sun has just disappeared behind the horizon.
I take it as a good omen, even though on the way back I flat a tyre.
Nürnberg, the city of the rallies; and, fittingly, the city of the trials.
I really shouldn’t be making these journeys all by myself.
/// #image_by_image is an ongoing conversation between photographers Ivan Sigal and Anton Kusters. @ivansigal @antonkusters on Instagram ///