Zdenek Tmej's captivating photographic diary, The Alphabet of Spiritual Emptiness, is available again after decades of being a very rare and highly-sought after study of the life of a labor camp prisoner. But the prisoner who took the pictures and wrote the words contained within the pages of this book goes straight to the core of the mentality of one confined against their will by the brutally fascist Nazi regime.
During WWII, Czech-born Tmej was held in the Nazi forced-labor camp in Breslau, Poland. While there, he set about the documentation, in photographs, poetry, and prose, of what he saw, felt, and experienced. Original texts are now translated and the original photographs are reproduced in high quality, full sized reprints. It's amazing that these photographs were even allowed to exist, much less live to see the light of day outside the prison camp's walls. A true testament to the human will to exist artistically, even against hopeless odds.
The Books on Books series is a project that takes rare and out-of-print photography books readily available again. Each book presents page for page the entire work of an original manuscript that was either too rare or too expensive to be studied. The secrets these books hold and have finally been allowed to disseminate to a wider audience show the full breadth of the history of photography and some of the more momentous occasions of its past.