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Images
.
inSpite
of
All
GEORGES
DIDI-HUBERMAN
Translated
by
SHANE
B.
LILLIS
THE
UNIVERSITYOF
CHICAGO
PRESS
Chicago
(Jr
London
FOUR
PHOTOGRAPHS
FROM
AUSCHWITZ
 
GeorgesDidi-Hubermanisprofessor
at
l'Ecoledes
haute
etudes
en
sciencessociales
in
Paris.
He
is
theauthor
of
morethanthirtybooksonthe
history
andtheory
of
images,including
Fra
Angelico:Dissemblance
andFiguration,
alsopublished
bythe
University
of
ChicagoPress.
CONTENTS
Originallypublishedas
Images
malgre
tout
©
LesEditionsdeMinuit,2003Shane
B.
Lillisrecentlyreceivedhis
PhDin
Frenchliteraturefrom
the
University
of
California,Berkeley.
@
Thepaper
used
in
this
publication
meets
the
minimumrequirements
of
the
AmericanNational
Standard
forInformation
Sciences-
Permanence
of
Paperfor
Printed
LibraryMaterials,
ANSI
Z3948-1992.
List
of
Illustrations
[ix]
Translator's
Note
[xi]Bibliographical
Note
to
the
FrenchEdition[xiii]
PARTI.IMAGES
IN
SPITE
OF
ALL
[1]
FourPieces
of
FilmSnatchedfromHell
(J]
Toknow,we
must
imagineforourselves.Auschwitz,August
1944:
fourimages
z'n
spz'te
of
all,
inspite
of
the
risks,
in
spite
of
our
inability
to
know
how
tolook
at
them
today.The
Sonderkommando
atwork.Survival
and
impulse
to
resist:emittingsignals
to
the
outside.Thephotographicimageappearsfrom
the
foldbetween
theimminent
obliteration
of
thewitness
andthe
unrepresentability
of
the
testimony:
to
snatchanimagefrom
that
real.Organization
of
the
clandestinephoto-taking.Firstsequence:from
the
gaschamber
of
crematorium
V,
images
of
the
incinerationpits.Secondsequence:
intheopen
air,in
the
trees
at
Birkenau,image
of
a"convoy"
of
undressedwomen.Therolloffi.lm,hidden
in
atube
of
toothpaste,makes
itinto
thehands
of
thePolishResistance,in
order
tobe
"sentfurther:'
AgainstAllUnimaginable
[19]
The
photographsfromAugust
1944
address
the
unimaginable
and
refuteit.Firstperiod
of
the
unimaginable:
the
"FinalSolution"
as
ageneralized"disimagination"machine.Toobliterate
the
victims'psyche,theirlanguage,theirbeing,theirremains,
the
tools
of
theirobliteration,
and
even
the
archives,
the
memory
of
thisobliteration."Reasoninhistory"alwaysrefuted
by
singularexceptions:
the
archives
of
the
Shoaharemade
of
theseexceptions.Photography'sparticularability
to
bereproducedand
to
transmit
in
spite
of
all:
the
absoluteprohibition
of
photographing
the
campscoexists
with
theactivity
of
twophotographylaboratories
at
Auschwitz.Secondperiod
of
theunimaginable:
if
Auschwitz
is
unthinkable,
then
wemustrethink
the
bases
of
our
allthropology(HannahArendt).
If
Auschwitz
is
unsayable,
I2
345
ISBN-
I
3:
978-0-226-14816-8(cloth)
ISBN-lO:
0-226-14816-5(cloth)
1716
15
14
13
12
11
10
09
08
The
University
of
ChicagoPress,Chicago606
37
The
University
of
ChicagoPress,Ltd.,
London
This
edition
©
2008
by
The
University
of
Chicago
All
rightsreserved.Published2008
PrintedintheUnited
States
of
AmericaLibrary
of
CongressCataloging-in-Publication
Data
Didi-Huberman,Georges.[Imagesmalgre
tout.
English
J
Images
in
spite
of
all:four
photographs
fromAuschwitz/GedrgesDidi
Huberman;
translated
by
Shane
B.
Lillis.
p.
em.Includesindex.
ISBN-13:
978-0-226-14816-8(cloth:alk.paper)
ISBN-lO:
0-226-14816-5(cloth:
all!:.
paper)
1.
Holocaust,Jewish(1939-1945)-Historiography.
2.
World
War,
1939
1945
-Photography.
3.
Historiography
and
photography.
I.
Title.D804·348.D53132008940·53'18072-dc22