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The photographer of Camp Westerbork

This show is available from 13 March 2024 PR_SHOW_UNTIL 29 September 2024

With the exhibition, photographer Sake Elzinga pays tribute to 'camp photographer' Rudolf Breslauer. He was imprisoned with his family in camp Westerbork from 1942 to 1944 and started shooting for the Westerbork film exactly 80 years ago. The exhibition was already on show once in spring 2023 and has been reprogrammed due to great interest. While doing additional research, Elzinga discovered something special.

World heritage 
In March 1944, Rudolf Breslauer began shooting film footage in the camp by order of camp commander Gemmeker. These went around the world after the war as 'the Westerbork film'. This film document has since been recognised by UNESCO as world heritage. Only few people know that Breslauer was a photographer by profession. During his imprisonment in camp Westerbork, he made photo reports commissioned by camp commander Gemmeker, as well as free work.

Special discovery
Sake Elzinga went looking for the photographer behind the film footage. During the run of the exhibition in 2023, Breslauer's (great) grandchildren visited Westerbork Memorial. Through them, Elzinga received family albums, which play an important role in the renewed presentation. While looking at these photos, he came across something very special: Ursula and Stefan, the two eldest children of Rudolf Breslauer and his wife Bella, can be seen for a few seconds in the Westerbork film.

Family on display
Of the Breslauer family, only eldest daughter Ursula eventually survived. Elzinga's discovery is of great value to both the family and Westerbork Memorial. Director Bertien Minco: "Thanks to extensive research by Gerard Rossing and Koert Broersma, we already have a lot of knowledge about the Westerbork film, but when you look at the footage through different glasses, surprising new information keeps coming to light. Through the discovered scene, you get to know Breslauer better as a filmmaker, but also as a father."

Please note the exhibition is in Dutch. 

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  • European Heritage Label
  • Unesco

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