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Perpetrators

An Exhibition Designed to Educate, Provoke and Encourage Study

"I decided to portray people who made Hitler possible. I began to focus mainly on a representative group of men who helped Hitler gain power and implement his policies. These "perpetrators" came from every facet of life: law, education, the military, industry, finance, medicine, religion, science, journalism, and art. They were mainly men of position and education. Using period photographs, together with biographical text was integral to the drawn portraits, I satisfied the twin poles of my aesthetic and didactic interests: work that achieves a formal coherence and at the same time, educational impact."  -Sid Chafetz, Artist

It has been said that the perpetrators of the Holocaust were ordinary men and women who either willingly participated in the destruction of the  European Jewish population or allowed the murders to take place due to their silence toward Nazi policies. The perpetrators were not just Germans or members of the Nazi party; they also included citizens of various backgrounds in countries throughout occupied Europe.

The motivation of the perpetrators is hard to establish, as the willingness or unwillingness to participate in mass murder is rooted in the complexities of human behavior and cannot be easily understood in generalities.
It is sufficient to say is that many individuals aided the Nazi’s in their efforts to exterminate the Jews of Europe and Sid Chafetz’s works allow us to explore who the willing participants were and what role they played toward the final solution.

Exhibit donated by the Artist to THC.