University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies
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CHGS

Seth Kramer

Seth Kramer is from West Orange, New Jersey and is now a writer, director and film producer. His work, Untitled (1994), was shown originally in the Jewish Museum exhibition,TOO JEWISH, curated by Norman Kleeblat. Kramer's work reflected the growing interest in the Holocaust as a subject, especially as it had become Americanized through the opening of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Hollywood's attempts to tell the story through feature length films.

The film shows the Kramer trying to conceptualize the killing of six million Jews by counting 6 million grains of rice.Kramer decided to count rice because he "wanted to have something concrete to show" after his counting was finished. After 10 months of counting, the artist reached one million grains. The number of Jewish children killed during the Holocaust is 1.5 million.

It would be several years later that school children would begin the act of counting objects to understand the magnitude of the Holocaust, as witnessed in the Six Million Paper Clips project created by a Middle school in Whitwell, TN (highlighted in a documentary film in 2004). Certainly Kramer's film did not create the trend, as the film is more hard edged look at indifference, Holocaust denial and the anger and frustration by Kramer in the challenge of counting the rice. Especially when he makes reference to the ease in which the mass numbers of killings took place verses the number of hours it was taking to count the grains.

Artworks: Witness and Legacy

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Untitled (1994) 14 minute video

The video shows the film-maker trying to conceptualize the killing of six million Jews by counting 6 million grains of rice. The video is artisically cut with references to Holocaust denial, aspects of the life of Hitler, musical references to Aryan stereotypes and the Jewish fate during the 1930's, as well as a scene from Lanzmann's film SHOAH dealing with the number of Jews who were killed during a day at Treblinka.

VHS copies of Untitled are available. Please contact CHGS for more information.

Page updated 2013.