ISBN: 80-7215-137-1|Published: 2001|Pages: 156
Binding: Softbound|Format: 160 x 180 mm|Graphic design: Pavel Lev, Studio Najbrt
The most famous set of photographs by the Czech photographer Zdeněk Tmej (1920–2004), Totaleinsatz, was made in 1942–44, when Tmej was in Breslau, Prussia (since the end of the W. W. II, Wrocław, Poland), where he and other other men and women of his generation were ordered to go and do forced labour for Nazi Germany. These sophisticated shots constitute photo-journalism made with personal feeling and professional skill. They were taken under demanding lighting conditions and were developed in Wrocław. Because the Gestapo considered them to be mere souvenirs, they managed to escape destruction. Even at the end of the war, however, their uniqueness was evident; since that time no other pictorial testimony about Nazi forced labour has appeared, which would be as informative and at the same time as artistic. A small number of these historically valuable documents were first published as Abeceda duševního prázdna (The ABCs of a spiritual void). Tmej’s unique vision together with his strong interest in their important subject matter provided the impetus for the present publication, which is the first to present this set of photographs as a whole. They are accompanied by articles written by the internationally renowned historian of photography Anna Fárová and a leading Czech authority on forced labor during World War II, the historian Tomáš Jelínek.