I am just home from driving most of the Polish-Czech border, trying to find and photograph the blue skies above each of the 95 World War Two concentration camps of Groß-Rosen. The difference in ways of commemorating struck me, and even though I have no empirical proof, it seems that in Poland and the Czech Republic communities have moved on rather than commemorated.As if commemorating might mean standing still, or atrophy. So much so that, when I eventually did encounter a commemorating monument, it caught me by surprise. I’m now trying to understand why.
As I walked through the quarry at the Groß-Rosen concentration camp where prisoners were worked to death, I was struck by its resemblance to the marble quarry in Carrara which we photographed together last autumn. The same cut stone patterns, the same water basin below, the same void left in the mountain, its meaning assigned through the use of the extracted stone.
The process of slicing rock out of the earth is identical. A rock for a rock. I pointed my camera upwards and photographed another blue sky.
The mountain roads in that area aren’t always good. Frequent large potholes required my utmost concentration. As I scanned the tarmac immediately in front of me, everything else receded, the people, the houses, the distant landscape, any understanding, to an endless blur.