Not Guilty

In a large-scale exhibition project in 2013, photographer Sebastian Holzknecht portrayed people in various locations in Eastern Europe who were deported to concentration camps or forced labor by the German occupation as children and adolescents. Through 41 large-format portraits and several image installations, some of which measure up to three meters in length, Sebastian presents poignant images that deeply touch the mind and heart and expand perspectives on what happened. However, this expansion is achieved using modern means, such as digital photography and image editing, to evoke even more closeness and relevance for the viewer. “I have developed images that have not been seen before, images in which the viewer also plays a role. Immediate details are not always shown, so the viewer must generate their own images,” says the artist. The photo documentation reminds us of the suffering and cruelty that humans can inflict on others, while also opening our eyes to the realization that Holocaust remembrance must always be linked to the call for critical self-reflection, political thinking, and responsible action. Currently, Sebastian is working on the realization of a large traveling exhibition – some parts of which are already completed – to offer young people, in particular, a chance to approach the disturbing topic of the Holocaust without prejudice and feelings of guilt.