Video report of the preview 19 Jan 2023 presented by photographer Jo Struyven of photo exhibition ‘236 — Land(es)capes from the 20th Convoy’. Photo exhibition of works by Jo Struyven and Luc Tuymans in the Jewish Museum of Belgium, Brussels, Belgium | January 20 – August 14, 2023. License info : 236 Land(es)capes 20th convoy | 20230126 | Michel van der Burg | Miracles•Media | TakeNode 428839bb-7165-4771-a490-27158928ec25
On April 19, 1943, the 20th transport left the Mechelen transit camp to deport 1,631 Jews to Auschwitz. Thanks to resistance actions, both inside and outside the wagons, 236 of these deportees managed to jump from the train that would lead them to destruction.
Photographer Jo Struyven revisits this unique act of resistance in Western Europe during the Nazi regime and shows us the landscapes in which this little-known story took place.
From 20 January 2023, the Jewish Museum of Belgium, in partnership with the Auschwitz Foundation, presents the exhibition entitled ‘ 236, Land(es)capes from the 20th Convoy ‘. It is set up in the museum’s project space and offers an artistic look at an exceptional and forgotten event in the Second World War.
The 20th convoy
At 10 p.m. on April 19, 1943, the 20th convoy departed from the Kazerne Dossin transit camp in Mechelen with 1,631 Jewish deportees in cattle cars, heading for Auschwitz. Thanks to resistance actions, both inside the wagons and from outside, 236 of these deportees managed to jump from that train, that was leading them to extermination. An unique event in Europe under the Nazi administration.
Jo Struyven, photographer
The work of the Belgian photographer Jo Struyven (°Sint-Truiden, 1961) takes us back to these acts of resistance – commemorating the 80th anniversary in 2023 – and gives us a glimpse of the landscapes in which this striking story took place. Taking the perspective of those who jumped off that train, an act for which many of them paid with their lives, Struyven creates a contemporary ‘memorial’ with 19 large ‘nocturnal’ black and white images, and one colour print.
Jo Struyven :
The 20th convoy, heading for the unspeakable “Auschwitz”, crossed the area where I grew up, barely 50 meters from my childhood bedroom — I found out 2 years ago after meeting Simon Gronowski. Ever since, I imagine the distress of the deportees. The destination was unknown to them. Some, sensing the worst, tried to escape it. I wanted to give an account of this border between life and death, between resignation and the impossibility of choosing, and the freedom regained with resistance to the oppressor’s plans.
Works presented by Jo Struyven
Land(es)capes from the 20th Convoy, 2020-2022, 19 black and white prints, 1 color print, 90×60 cm (Private collection – Belgium)
Luc Tuymans, visual artist
In dialogue with Jo Struyven’s photographs, two works by Belgian visual artist Luc Tuymans (°Mortsel, 1958) evoke the destruction of the Jews and Roma of Europe. Die Wiedergutmachung (The Reparation) depicts body parts – left the eyes of gypsy children who had been experimented on by the Nazis. … images that in its incompleteness, reflect the inability to represent facts and memory .
Works presented by Luc Tuymans
Art after the Shoah
“Writing a poem after Auschwitz is barbaric”, wrote German philosopher Theodor W. Adorno in 1949. Through two contemporary perspectives from the visual arts, this exhibition seeks to address this question of the (im)possibility of art after the Shoah in a new way.
Testimonies & Catalogue
This exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue book edited by Daniel Weyssow and Jo Struyven and published by the Auschwitz Foundation entitled Land(es)capes from the 20th Convoy (press release on April 19, 2023), as well as an educational space presenting the testimonies from interviews and archives of convoy escapees.
Info+ ( & Français | Nederlands)
236 Land(es)capes from the 20th Convoy Jo Struyven / Luc Tuymans Exhibition at the Jewish Museum of Belgium, in Brussels, Belgium 20 January – 14 August 2023 Brussels Website https://www.mjb-jmb.org
Jan 20, 2023 – Vernissage ‘236’ Land(es)capes 20th convoy.
Video report : Vernissage ‘236’ Land(es)capes 20th convoy
Thursday January 19th, 2023, the vernissage of the photo exhibition 236 — Land(es)capes from the 20th Convoy was opened with speeches by Philippe Blondin, President of the Jewish Museum, and by Pierre-Yves Jeholet , Minister-President of the Government of the Federation Wallonia-Brussels. Next, the Belgian photographer Jo Struyven presented his work — escape landscape photographs glowing in the dark — like being lit by moonlight — as well as paintings contributed by Luc Tuymans in the project space. The exhibition runs from January 20 – August 14, 2023 in the Jewish Museum of Belgium, Brussels, Belgium. Video report (20230120) Michel van der Burg | Miracles•Media .
Jan 20, 2023 – VRT | Kristien Bonneure (Belgian Flemish Broadcast) 20 jan 2023
In 1935 the nomadic Sinti families Steinbach were photographed by Dutch photographer Jan de Jong in their caravan camp on the heath around the Heksenberg hill in the southern Netherlands. Jan de Jong was working for De Spaarnestad publishing house of the dutch weekly, catholic, illustrated magazine “Katholieke Illustratie” , that used his high quality pictures in this May 1936 spread (REF 1), with a somewhat simple romanticized short story on their origin and culture – entitled ‘Zwervers van geboorte’ or ‘Born nomad’ (my translation).
Members of other Steinbach families, I recognized in this magazine spread in the caravan window image with caption ‘Buurpraatje’ (my tr. ‘Neighbor chat’), are Anna Steinbach in the window (born 24 March 1916 – killed 31 July 1944 in Auschwitz) talking with Maria Steinbach (born 6 Nov 1912 – killed 31 July 1944 in Auschwitz) .
The 15 year old Willy (Celestinus) Steinbach (born 13 Feb 1929 in Heerlen) was deported together with his 9-year old sister Settela ((Anna Maria) Steinbach (born 23 Dec 1934 in Buchten), their brothers, sisters (Willem, Elisabeth, Johanna, Philibert, Florentina, Willem, Anna), and mother Toetela (Emilia) Steinbach (born 23 March 1902 in Antwerp, Belgium), with other Steinbach and other nomad families – all together ca 245 Sinti and Roma and ca 450 Jews – on May 19th 1944 from the dutch Camp Westerbork to Auschwitz — and some, like Willy, later to other camps.
Toetela’s eldest child Moekela (Magdalena; born 14 Sep 1922) had gone to Belgium and had been deported earlier – 15 Jan 1944 – with her 6 months old baby Jeanette – Toetela’s granddaughter – on the Z-Transport from Mechelen to Auschwitz, were they were murdered on arrival.
Note : I found Jeanette on the Transport lists in the image bank of Kazerne Dossin, Mechelen – but not yet her mother Magdalena.
Settela’s father Moeselman (Heinrich) Steinbach (born Nov 11, 1901 in Gründorf in Germany) died alone of grief June 6, 1946 in Maastricht in the Netherlands – his wife and 10 children had not survived the camps.
Their deporatation was filmed for the Westerbork Film by Rudolf Breslauer (REF 2).
This post is based on the story of the Steinbach families as researched in detail and published in book (REF 3) and film (REF 4) by Rob Hendrikx and Marouska Steinbach.
Update May 20, 2021 – Minor corrections in text , plus more detailed family information added. Poster image film replaced with clearer portrait image of Willy.
Roman Vishniac Re-discovered | 20140823 | 1-memo.com | Image taken yesterday at the exhibition of Roman Vishniac’s photos at Amsterdam Jewish Historical Museum, 2014. Tomorrow (Aug 24th) is the last day of this exhibition “Roman Vishniac (re)discovered”
In that large picture his daughter Mara poses in front of an election poster in Berlin , 1933 . | TakeNode ID f3281589-fde9-4bd2-a15d-1156ece26eb2