Steve Pyke | Holocaust Survivors | Intro
I was born 12 years after the end of World War 2. Growing up as a child at that time in Britain it felt like the war had never ended. Everyday I heard peoples experience of the war.
Whether they had witnessed it at home with the constant fear of bombings and losing loved ones or had bore witness on the battlefields of Europe. The war was still a raw memory for many and it created a formative impression on me as a child.
The Holocaust was equally real. On the quiet street in Leicester that I grew up on, there were two survivors that I knew of. My schoolfriend Mark Zaharodnys father Michael, had survived the camps and carried the strange blue tattooed number on his left arm. It was taboo to mention, and something I knew I should not ask about, even to my friend.
In 1984 I travelled through what was then called Eastern Europe and visited the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Treblinka. The visit had a profound effect on me.
In 1995 with the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Bergen Belsen concentration camp approaching, I photographed in North London at a Jewish care home, fifteen survivors of that camp. The portraits are in the collection of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC.