Survivor of three Nazi concentration camps, survivors’ reunion, Majdanek concentration camp, near Lublin, Poland, 1983. being honored by Poland as a heroine during a nationally televised event. She wore her uniform with her prisoner number and a red triangle with a “P,” indicating she was a Polish political enemy of the Third Reich. The onlookers in this photograph seemed more interested in my large, unusual camera, tripod and dark cloth and my odd photographic machinations than in her. © James Friedman
Wall where Jewish prisoners were shot, Theresienstadt concentration camp, near Terezin, Czechoslovakia, 1981. I set up my camera in front of this wall and its forty-year-old bullet holes. I saw an East German man and his son nearby and immediately decided to include the boy in the photograph because the color of his sweater nearly matched that of the number “37” on the wall. Though I didn’t speak German, somehow I was able to gain the father’s permission to photograph his son. © James Friedman
When James Friedman presented his photographs of Nazi concentration camps at the International Center of Photography in the mid-1980s, a fierce argument ensued between two members of the audience. One was outraged at his choice to capture the camps in color; the other defended it. There was shouting; people got up from their chairs before the fight was put to rest.