From age seven, I studied Judaism three days a week, with one ever-present theme in my course of study being the Holocaust. I am a torchbearer for this atrocity, allegiant to my knowledge of all that was taken and all that was lost.
My personal connection to the Holocaust came to me later in life, when my Great Uncle Bernard's journal was passed along to me. As openly as the Jewish community mourned victims of the Holocaust, my family had kept hidden our own loss. Three centuries of Makovers had lived in Poland. My great grandparents, great aunts and uncles, their children, and their children’s children lived there until 1939, when the Nazi’s invaded Poland; there, trail of information abruptly stops. My ancestors seemingly disappeared, never to be heard from again.
In 2000, I traveled alone to Poland for eight months, with my great uncle’s journal as my companion, searching for information to fill the gaps in my own history. I visited abandoned synagogues, desecrated cemeteries, and concentration camps.
My photographs speak of the death that surrounded me and of the ghosts that spoke to me. Though facilitated by the length of time available for shooting and the great sense of purpose underwriting the project, Poland marks my most emotionally wrought body of work.