A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

The day before yesterday when I was in my H,I,J files looking for the negatives for Friday's blog I was jolted, as I always am by the file labeled Hitler. And every time I file them away again and conveniently forget about them. I am not even sure these negatives,I copied an original photograph, represent an authentic one. But this blog offers me some sort of justification for showing the picture.

The negatives are in my files because some years ago Jim Christy wrote an article for Vancouver Magazine about Robert George Wilson, who in 1984 had written Confessions of Klaus Barbie , Pulp Press, 1984. Klaus Barbie was known by the epithet, the butcher of Lyon. He wrote it for Vancouver Magazine. I met Wilson and he lent me his Hitler photograph so that it could be reproduced in the Christy piece. Since there were no scanners at the time I had to use a few photographic tricks to make the faded picture look decent.

As I wrote in Evil At The Piano I have that memory of being 6 and being told as I was being combed my mother that I looked like Hitler. A couple of years later I was invited into the house of my friend from across the street on Melián in Buenos Aires. His name was Mario Hertzberg. We called him el alemán , I was el inglesito and our mutual friend Miguelito was el tano as he was Italian). I had no concept of Jews or what being Jewish was all about. In Mario's house I spotted a portrait of a fat Mario on the wall. I smiled and pointed it out to Mario. Mario said, "That is not me. That is my older brother. He died in Auschwitz during the war." I asked how he was killed but Mario never said anything more. It was quite a few years later that it dawned on me what had happened and how the Hertzbergs had somehow survived without that one son (Mario had two much older brothers who lived with him) and moved to Argentina after the war.

Jim Christy
Odd Pattern


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