34 rue de Turenne

The photography project, 34 Rue de Turenne is a pictorial interpretation of reality that occured  to Gertrude Monderer, a Jewish girl during the Nazi occupation of France in 1942, the most dramatic period of European history. It describes the critical moment of Gertrude´s life during the big round-up of Jews, the 16 July 1942 in Paris.

Gertrude Monderer was born 7 April in 1923 at Vienna in Austria and moved with her family to Paris in 1937 to live with her oncle at 34 rue de Turenne in the Marais. During the big round-up of Jews on 16 July 1942 at 5.00 am in the morning the French Police comes to rue de Turenne to arrest Jewish families, including Gertrude and her family.

« Police, open the door, you have five minutes to pack with your belongings »

​In the sky there is a declining moon before sunrise. Rue de Turenne is full of families, crying children, exuberant luggages on sidewalks, waiting busses and shouting policemen. First rays of daylight touch the face of Gertrude, when she is pushed to a crowed bus. Thus starts a tragic voyage, of which she has not a slightest idea.

​First Gertrude is transported to the velodrome of Vel d`Hiver, then to the internment camp in Drancy, from where she is deported on train convoy numbered 13 to Auchwitz-Birkenau, where she dies, at the age of 19 years, 30 of July in 1942.

​After the round-up people empty apartments of the deported taking possession of furniture, clothes, tableware. The rests of life are lying here and there. The faces in hundreds of photos are lost in gutters.

The past consists of what narrator sees in the present context. Gertrude´s past was described by her cousin Patrice, a lifelong friend of mine. We visited  Gertrude´s place of arrest, 34 rue de Turenne in the Marais during 2017-2019 several times. In March 2020 I returned there to shoot photographs.