Jewish Heritage Report
Vol. I, Nos. 3-4 / Winter 1997-98
Stern Photos

Tomas Stern Photos Shown at Washington's Klutznick Museum

Camera in hand, medical student Tomas Stern has used his precious free time to document Slovakia's haunting heritage of Jewish cemeteries, synagogues, and communal buildings (see JHR, Summer 1997). Angered by deteriorating conditions and official neglect, Stern travels around the country to record for Slovak and the world's eyes the poignant reminders of a Jewish presence that may date back to the first century, flourished under Austro-Hungarian rule, and was decimated during and after the Holocaust. Stern's sensitive photographs appeared in an exhibit on "Histories Between Histories," in the B'nai Brith Klutznick Museum from August 14 to October 14, 1997. "Slovakia has slipped out of its Communist past into a Perestroika of questions regarding its future, and no component of its community has more questions with respect to tomorrow's identity than the Jewish component," comments Ori Z. Soltes, the museum's director. Stern's plea is captured most powerfully in a photograph of his great-grandfather's grave, the matsevah toppled and vandalized.

Reviewed by Phyllis Myers, State Resources Strategies (Washington, DC)

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Updated: 23-July-98