Auschwitz I., Block Nr.7.


Although there are no graves at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the death camp is nevertheless one of the largest cemeteries in Hungarian history. There are no graves or epitaphs, though during the single year of 1944 several hundred thousand Hungarian Jews were deported there to be murdered. A few of them – those who were bolder? more desperate? more persistent? those who still had some hope? – left imprints of their existence. We do not know how much time they spent doing this, but with meticulous care – in sunshine? in rain? in mud? in wind? – with a small nail? with a hairpin? with their own nails? with a scrap of metal? with a shard of glass? with a stone? – as a message? as a plea? as a prayer? as a stele? – they carved their names into the "Wailing Wall" of the camp, the bricks and plaster of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Writing in the wall. Name, city, date, sometimes profession, occasionally prisoner number. Writing in the wall. The engraved names are themselves gaps in the wall. A missing continuity; missing fate. 

I encountered these names for the first time in 2004. I’ve been looking for them ever since, on the exterior and interior walls of the barracks, the one-time "sauna", the kitchens, the attics, the chimney pillars, the latrines. There are many of them.

A missing continuity; missing fate. All I could draw was the gaps, what is missing. This is how I commemorate them.

László Rajk

(Special thanks to the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim, especially to Tereza Zrbzeska, Mirosław Obstarczyk, Anna Ren and Teresa Szabó.) 

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2B Gallery, Budapest / Goethe Intstitut, Budapest  02.05.–31.05.2012  opened by György Konrád, writer, followed by a public discussion, "Holocaust, Memory, Art" with the participation of Bernhard Purin, director of the Jewish Museum in Munich, Zsofia Ban writer, Andras Renyi art historian, director of the Art History Institute of ELTE.


Frottages / Art works

Vernissage: 2B Gallery, Budapest – 02.05.2012


Hiányzó Sors - Auschwitz falak (A szombat.org videója)

Hiányzó Sors - kiállításmegnyitó


Konrád György: Látogatás Birkenauba (Tanulmányi kirándulás) – részlet auf Deutsch

Horváth Ágnes: Nem a halál öl – Balkon 2012/5 – En français

Nem hiányzik valami? De, a családom. – Győri J. László interjúja Bernhardt Purinnal Rajk László kiállítása kapcsán – Élet és Irodalom, 2012. június 29.

Klein László: Jelben létezés – Szombat, 2012. május 3.

Missing Fate –Visegrad Summer School, Cracow, Poland

Agnes Horvath: Ce n'e pas la mort qui tue - 22 Aoűt 2012 - blog.mediapart.fr

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© Laszlo Rajk 2019