Holocaust Remembrance Day

Saturday, April 30 at sunset, according to the Jewish calendar was the beginning of the observation of 2011 Holocaust Remembrance Day, while officially on Sunday, May 1, it was observed by all others. In light of this somber reflection I wish to share a painting I completed in May 2008 in response to the 'German Question' and my thoughts about the Holocaust.

Remembrance, May 2008
MM/C 24 x 24” inches (60.96 x 60.96 cm)

During the process of this painting it was first known as “The German Question,” upon the completion, the painting was named “Remembrance.” Briefly I had considered “Absence of History,” a title my son had suggested and a title I am reserving for another canvas.

With the unveiling of “Remembrance” on my blog, I had planned to share an essay on the artist’s social responsibility to create art addressing current social issues or a social conscious message, as I personally feel that artists have a responsibility from time to time to set aside their own artistic efforts and tackle issues. Yet in light of yesterdays observations I shall hold off and only ask of you to reflect upon the Holocaust and that even to this day, crimes are committed against humans by people in the name of country or religion. Have we really learned from the Holocaust?

The next Holocaust Remembrance Day will begin at sunset on April 18, 2012 for the Jewish people and observed by others on Thursday, April 19.

Thank you for your visit
and comment . . .



LauraX said...

Egmont your work is deeply moving. I wrote about Yom HaShoah yesterday and today as well on my blog. Genocide is sadly not only history but a current state of affairs in the world at this time.

gentle steps

The Artist Within Us said...

My dear friend Laura,

Thank you for your visit and kind words.
Sadly I agree with you that genocide still continues to this day. I wonder if we really will ever have peace. I still remain hopeful that my children will at least experience it.

Wishing you all the very best,

Hannah said...

I agree with both of you that genocide continues although today, with the recent events in Afghanistan, I am hopeful. I am also grateful to you Egmont, for taking time to remember and post this very poignant work. I am hopeful that as we weave this web of interrelationship on the web, we will also weave greater understanding.

The Artist Within Us said...

Greetings dear Hannah,

Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

I was not aware until I viewed the US Holocaust Memorial Museum - frequently asked questions to learn more about this day and why it differs with the one NATO as set in January. I also discovered that the Day of Remembrance lasts all week. So I decided to update the post by adding a banner and link so that others too can learn more.

Wishing you all the very best,

Mark Sheeky said...

Of course, after the war under Stalin, millions also died in silent camps. I think the world is more peaceful now than it was a century ago. I think there is more "democracy" and accountability, and that international laws and courts have made the world better.

The Artist Within Us said...

Greetings Mark,

Thank you for dropping in and having a look.

It seems so far this century has had some considerable violence and destruction that was by the hands of humans but also nature has had her hand in it as well.

People want harmony and peace, just look at Iran's demonstrations two years ago and now what is happening in northern Africa, unfortunately governments and the monarchy want to keep things the way they are. Therefore I remain hopeful that there will be change.

Even though we have the international court in Hague and NATO, third world countries will continue to do what they want.

At least there is a start and as we focus more on preserving the environment for our own survival, I feel we will then also look at making changes in how we treat each other.

Warmest regards,

Sophie Munns said...

Well said Egmont....
I was very interested to read your post and feel very strongly that we humans must find ways to draw attention to all kinds of matters that we care about from time to time.
I remember reading the most moving thing on a postcard about 20 odd years ago... written by a Catholic Priest if memory serves me ...he discussed the experience of being in Germany in WWW2 and said something like:

"I said nothing when they came and took the Jewish people away,
I said nothing when they came and took the ....away.
I said nothing when they came and took the ....away,
Then they came for me"

I never forgot that.
Stark truth... whenever we allow oppression to take place near us and dont act we give permission by the absense of a voice to let it happen...
thats the sobering thing.

Wonderful to see this astonishing work Egmont... and your thoughts...
my best to you!
ps loved your comment!

The Artist Within Us said...

Greetings dear Sophie,

I particularly like your quote and though I Have heard it before, it is good to repeat it.

Thank you for your kind words about the painting.

Warmest regards,

William Hall said...

A very wonderful and moving peace. My heritage is native american. "Remembrance" has relevance to all human beings. Thanks.

Mary C. Nasser said...

This is a moving and amazing post.

So glad I found you through the miz kate dot com Artist blog hop!
I am your newest blog follower. :)
Looking forward to seeing your upcoming posts!

I welcome you to check out my art blog, too!

Mary C. Nasser

Stacy Hurt said...

I am amazed at your work. Really beautiful and haunting.

I am uplifted that you as an artist can delve into mankind's blackest heart and create something so beautiful and evocative.

Fear: I think that's what keeps many artists from creating works of this nature. And sadly, market. There are many who believe that 'dark works' or works with a political message are not welcome in shows as the viewing audience only come to see light things. Jurors claim there are many shows available to see darker works but the irony I believe is that we need to create the darker pieces exactly to lift the complacent eyelids of the mainstream viewers. A difficult walk as artist to be sure. You have achieved it beautifully!

Thank you

The Artist Within Us said...

Greetings William,

Sorry for my tardiness as I am still in my catch-up mode.

I appreciate your visit and comment, especially bringing to light that not only the jews have been persecuted but many other people.

I personally have always felt close to the American Indian ever since coming to this country and specifically remember on man who taught me much about Indian life and how to treat Mother Earth.

Warmest regards,

The Artist Within Us said...


Thank you for discovering one of my blogs and not only leaving a comment but also becoming a follower. I shall be visiting your site shortly and reciprocating the favor.

Warmest regards,

The Artist Within Us said...

Dear Stacy,

Thank you for your visit and especially your very kind words about the painting, along with your thoughts.

For the last month I have been contemplating an article dealing with the notion if artists have a responsibility to society or even their own conscience when it comes to social issues.

Personally I feel they do and it does not mean that they have to devote their life to it, just that time is set aside to create a work of art that addresses an important issue.

The work of art should raise awareness and contemplativeness with the viewer to be truly effective, even though the artist does have the option to also make a personal statement as to their own views upon a specific subject matter.

So you see, I am delighted that you added another perspective to the discussion.

Warmest regards,

tess stieben said...

Wow a very haunting piece, yet also beautiful.

Sad that mankind is the most incorrigible species, the only species who kill for possession of others land and then desecrates and eradicate the life out of the land. The true history of the North American continent is that it was acquired by massacre of aboriginal populations and theft. Genocide was still practiced throughout this continent under the secret guise of the residential school system. Check out

You may have a point about the duty of artists regarding social issues, thank you for the thought food, I need brain jolting once in a while. Hugs!

Tonya Vollertsen said...

Egmont, this is such a beautiful piece. Simple, quiet, poignant.
I'm not sure humans can live in sustained peacefulness. I think some people are peaceful and seek out others of like mind and it is the same for those who like unrest. I think it will always be that way. I't just human nature. But we can always hope!

L.W.Roth, said...

Egmont, this painting is expressive and moving. The title is perfect, for remembering is exactly what we must do to keep our violent natures in check and encourage our respect for differences. It's the differences between us that we should celebrate. They make the world a beautiful place.

No words are needed to tell artists when to speak out against social atrocities and injustices; we're a passionate lot quick to shout protests.

The Artist Within Us said...

Dear Tonya,

Thank you for having commented on one of my social art works. It was the second painting I did with a social conscious theme, as I feel artist also have a responsibility to create art that has a social purpose other than satisfying their own pleasures.

Warmest reagards,

The Artist Within Us said...

Greetings L.W. Roth,

Thank you for having discovered my site and chosen to follow, this is certainly much appreciated.

As to 'Remembrance', and any other painting depicting social issues, I have always felt it is an artists responsibility to also paint about difficult subject matters in order to bring an awareness on a more personal level.

Yes, 'we are a passionate lot' when it comes to immediate action, but not so quick when it comes to creating a permanent record for fear of criticism causing damage to ones reputation and future sales.

Warmest regards,