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Images in Spite of All

Four Photographs from Auschwitz

Of one and a half million surviving photographs related to Nazi concentration camps, only four depict the actual process of mass killing perpetrated at the gas chambers. Images in Spite of All reveals that these rare photos of Auschwitz, taken clandestinely by one of the Jewish prisoners forced to help carry out the atrocities there, were made as a potent act of resistance.
            Available today because they were smuggled out of the camp and into the hands of Polish resistance fighters, the photographs show a group of naked women being herded into the gas chambers and the cremation of corpses that have just been pulled out. Georges Didi-Huberman’s relentless consideration of these harrowing scenes demonstrates how Holocaust testimony can shift from texts and imaginations to irrefutable images that attempt to speak the unspeakable. Including a powerful response to those who have criticized his interest in these images as voyeuristic, Didi-Huberman’s eloquent reflections constitute an invaluable contribution to debates over the representability of the Holocaust and the status of archival photographs in an image-saturated world.

248 pages | 30 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2008

Art: Photography

History: General History


"Images in Spite of All provides the carefully extended anguished engagement, both epitaph and caption, that the subject demands."

William T. Vollman | Bookforum

"The choice to translate Didi-Huberman is timely. . . . The larger problematic of the (limits of) representation of the Holocaust remains a fraught subject for Western scholars, and Didi-Huberman’s polemic takes the discussion in a new and productive direction."

Susan A. Crane | Postmodern Culture

Table of Contents

Translator’s Note 
Bibliographical Note to the French Edition
List of Illustrations

I.       Images in Spite of All
         Four Pieces of Film Snatched from Hell
         Against All Unimaginable
         In the Very Eye of History 
         Similar, Dissimilar, Survivor
II.     In Spite of the All Image
         Fact-Image or Fetish-Image
         Archive-Image or Appearance-Image
         Montage-Image or Lie-Image
         Similar Image or Semblance-Image

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