WORLD WAR TWO TODAY BOOK
All over Europe, people are looking for new ways to keep the memory of the Second World War alive. As those who lived through the war themselves are passing on, the public is actively seeking their personal experience of it.
When photographer Roger Cremers visits Auschwitz for the first time he is fascinated by this phenomenon; the former concentration camp resembles a recreational area.
The series he produced about this subject is published by NRC Handelsblad which results in Cremers winning a first price at World Press Photo 2009. Internationally the series is a topic of public debate and controversy.
He expands the series into an eight-year project and comes to the realization that the line between commemoration and entertainment is blurring. This book contains, amongst others, images of historical sights from Normandy to Crimea, re-enactments, amateur archeologists on the steppes of Russia, sites of former concentration camps and a gathering of Waffen-SS veterans in Austria.
The book shows the contradiction between different forms of remembering the Second World War and investigates the culture of commemoration. The powerful images capture a world we have never seen before and create a tension between perception and reality.
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In the media
“The images of the Dutch photographer Roger Cremers in World War Two Today are the perfect depiction of W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz.”
– Hans Cottyn, De Standaard
“The photos are fascinating because they evoke an awareness of the paradigm shift that is happening right now.”
– Emmie Giesbergen, The Creators Project Vice.com
“Roger Cremers photos are showing the moments where secular worship and remembrance blend into entertainment, recreation, perhaps even in happiness.”
– Pieter van Os, NRC Handelsblad
“This kind of deceptive images we will find more often in Cremers’ project and impressive book” …. “The photo of the two Hungarian tourists in red tracksuit at Auschwitz has become a modern classic in Dutch photography”
– Mark Moorman, de Volkskrant