A new collection of photographs reveals the lives survivors have built and the legacies they have passed down the generations

The film and photographic images that emerged from the Holocaust, often in a blurrily dark monochrome, instantly became the visual definition of evil in the 20th century. So to set this brutal iconography against the cheerily crisp colours of modern English suburban homes in springtime – complete with armchairs, French doors on to patios, bright tulips in pots – might risk accusations of superficiality, or worse.

But when the people in these apparently mundane locations are themselves survivors of the Holocaust, the sheer joyful fact of their existence becomes a triumphant rejoinder to the unimaginable cruelty and depravity of three-quarters of a century ago. The new images are collected together in Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors, which opens later this week to coincide with world Holocaust day, at the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) gallery in Bristol after a showing at the Imperial War Museum in London.

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