Practical Issues of Critical Research into Historical Photography: The Case of the Kaunas Ghetto Photographer Zvi Hirsh Kadushin (Summary)

Šarūnė Sederevičiūtė (PDF)

From 1941 to 1944, Kaunas ghetto prisoner Hirsh Kadushin (1910–1997) secretly photographed ghetto life and other Jews with an amateur camera. The relatively rich archive material surviving from this unique image provides a counterweight to the Nazi perspective that dominates the history of Holocaust photography. Photographs by Kadushin are widely used in Lithuania and abroad. However, the story of the photographer and his legacy has not yet entered academic discourse. Based on various ego documents, interviews, periodicals and images themselves, the article aims to reconstruct the photographer’s biography, his method of work and his goals during the Nazi occupation and in the postwar period. The circumstances of the photographs taken in the Kaunas ghetto are investigated, and the further use of these images is revealed. The study reconstructs a complex network of historical reality, collective memory, institutional practices and personal activity.

Keywords: Kaunas / Kovno Ghetto, Holocaust representation, Jewish photographer