History and Theory 48 (4):9-25 (2009)

When historians, archivists, and museologists turn to Eastern European photos from family albums or collections—for example, photos from the decades preceding the Holocaust and the early years of the Second World War—they seek visual evidence or illustrations of the past. But photographs may refuse to fit expected narratives and interpretations, revealing both more and less than we expect. Focusing on photos of Jews taken on the main avenues of Cerna˘u?i, Romania, before the Second World War and during the city’s occupation by Fascist Romanians and their Nazi-German allies, this essay shows how a close reading of these vernacular images, both for what they show and what they are unable to show, can challenge the “before, during, and after” timeline that, in Holocaust historiography, we have come to accept as a given
Keywords “affiliative” look  Cernǎuţi  archival practices  Holocaust photos  memory  “before, during, and after the Holocaust”  Chernivtsi  backshadowing  Czernowitz  street photos
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-2303.2009.00514.x
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