neither eye nor imagination has any way of escape. The horizon has disappeared
from this landscape without vistas; all signs of nature have vanished,
too. Holocaust history does not proclaim its message; we must evacuate
what we can from the ruins. Sheets of slate have moved aside as if from
a tomb, to reveal a star-shaped scar leading into an obscure tunnel lined
with the facades of crumbling structuresthe former ghetto. Like
forlorn Dantes without benefit of Virgil, we are forced to pursue the
fate of European Jewry into the threatening depths below the inert stone
surface, following a narrow corridor between lifeless brick walls. But
our obligation is clear: memory and commemoration allow no other route.
Even the pale yellow cloth from Stars of David once worn on victims' breasts
points toward the ominous entry-way, as if all energy in the painting
were focused on this journey into the heart of holocaust darkness.