News – Philadelphia Inquirer

Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Cover Article
Magazine Section
Tuesday April 17, 2001


To Ann Weiss of Bryn Mawr, the Death Camp Images Didn’t Tell the Whole Story

by Alfred Lubrano

“…And in an accidental discovery that on one can explain, … Ann Weiss found the photos in a locked room in Auschwitz when she was on a tour there in 1986….Dignified, silly, fun, poignant—the photos depict real people who led real lives before they were shipped to Auschwitz.”

“It’s a sad truth that the world has grown accustomed to the sight of Holocaust corpses, naked and emaciated and piled on graves. Weiss worked for … years to offer an alternative view of the European Jews who perished. ‘The images we carry are not what those people were like, said Weiss, who will be honored at a Holocaust Remembrance Day program … tomorrow evening. ‘It’s the images the Nazis created. It’s blasphemous to the lives these people led to only know how they died. I don’t want the Nazi images to be the ones that prevail.’”

“Weiss’ book is already considered an important addition to the canon of 10,000 or so volumes on the Holocaust.”

“The book is very crucial to the telling of the story of the Holocaust,” said Martin Goldman, Director of Survivor Affairs of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. “The importance of this book is to show that these people were just like you and I.”

“She is astoundingly committed to the documentation of the Holocaust experience and the telling of people’s stories to humanize the experience,” said Josey Fisher, Director of the Holocaust Oral History Archive at Gratz College. “Her personality is extremely compassionate, caring and intense. You meet her and you don’t forget her….”

“Did they all die at Auschwitz? Probably. But no one could have seen these people had lives before their deaths if Ann Weiss hadn’t embarked on what a friend called “holy work.”