Four Images Between Two Impossibilities

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Didi-Huberman situates the four images taken from Auschwitz between two impossibilities. These two impossibilities come from the unimaginable and unrepresentable character of the event that took place in Auschwitz. This unrepresentability is achieved through the actions of the S.S. to conceal the extermination of the Jew as a state secret. The system of exterminating the Jew is described as the machine by Didi-Huberman, aimed to destroy the Jew and eliminate any chance to represent the genocide. This was carried out through witness obliteration of the Jew and the Sonderkommando. The Sonderkommando are slaves of death according to Didi-Huberman, as they are bound to their purpose to help exterminate the Jew and eliminate their trace of existence. They are slaves to their imminent death as, " Twelve squads succeeded each other... each was eliminated at the end of a few months, and 'as its initiation, the next squad burnt corpses of its predecessors'"(Didi-Huberman, 4). So, the Jew including the Sonderkommando, knew that they were to be eliminated as witnesses to the fact as their deaths were stolen by the machine. The Jew and the Sonderkommando remain slaves of death as the mission of the S.S. was to not let a single witness survive. Yet, the Sonderkommando were able to snatch four photos from the hell of Auschwitz that threaten to refute the two impossibilities Didi-Huberman argues in his article Four Pieces of Film Snatched From Hell. The witness obliteration was complimented by "the fear that the testimony itself would be obliterated, even if it were transmitted to the outside"( Didi-Huberman, 6). The Sonderkommando's testimony according to Didi-Huberman, could be senseless, incomprehensible and unimaginable from living in the ... ... middle of paper ... ...ts hellish nature can be argued to be captured in the photos. This challenges the second impossibility then, as one could imagine the burning of the bodies as it is visually represented in the photos. Thus, the four photos snatched from Auschwitz challenges to refute the two impossibilities that Didi-Huberman outlines in his article, Four Pieces of Film Snatched From Hell. Works Cited Nancy, Jean-Luc. "Forbidden Representation." The Ground of the Image. New York: Fordham UP, 2005. 27-50. Print. Didi-Huberman, Georges. "Four Pieces of Film Snatched From Hell." Images in Spite of All: Four Photographs from Auschwitz. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2008. 3-17. Scribd. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. Didi-Huberman, Georges. "Against All Unimaginable." Images in Spite of All: Four Photographs from Auschwitz. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2008. 18-29. Scribd. Web. 13 Dec. 2013.
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