Another Planet

I was introduced to the epithet "Another Planet" when reading the testimony of writer Yehiel Dinur, known by his pen name K. Zetnik, at the Eichmann Trial in Jerusalem (Session No. 68 dated June 7, 1961).

Dinur described Auschwitz as "Another Planet".

The concept of "Another Planet", its implications and associations, resonated in my mind and I decided to give it expression in photography, using the technology of a 360° camera.

The photography journey I went on, which resulted in Another Planet, was the conclusion and epitome of a six-year effort. That stretch of time began with my inquiry into my family’s history in Europe and in Israel in the early twentieth century, and continued with the gradual unveiling of my family’s fate, and that of their friends, during World War II.  Many of them were killed by the Nazis in Belzec extermination camp in Occupied Poland. During those six years I wrote two books: Out of the Shoebox (2014) and Syma (2019).

This other planet, so excruciatingly depicted by writer Yehiel Dinur, is to me a place where human morals do not apply, a place where the Devil had free reign. On that planet science, technology and engineering were all employed in the service of Evil, culminating in human extermination.

As a photographer, I was faced with the question and the challenge of how to document extermination camps that had been purposefully obliterated, alongside those that remain standing.  Working with a 360° camera gave me a new perspective and enabled me to create a new photographic reality, one that calls to mind the term Another Planet.

 

Yaron Reshef, 2019