Boltanski, Christian. Diese Kinder Suchen Ihre Eltern. Munich: Gina Kehayoff Verlag. 1994.
In the aftermath of World War II, many children in Germany were displaced and did not know where their parents were. The Red Cross attempted to re-unite these families by publishing posters featuring photos of the children along with identifying information for each child. French artist Christian Boltanski used these posters as the source material for Diese Kinder Suchen Ihre Eltern (Children in Search of Their Parents), which was published on the occasion of the artist’s exhibition at the Museum Ludwig at Cologne in 1993-94.
The first illustrated spread is a reproduction of one of these Red Cross posters. Over seventy-five photos, cropped and enlarged from the posters, are reproduced on each of the following pages. Beneath each photo is the German text that details the child’s distinguishing characteristics and name and age, if known. As discussed in the artist’s statement, which is printed in French, German, and English at the beginning of the book, Boltanski was drawn to these photos because he wondered what had become of these children who are of the same generation as himself. A note in the back of the book encourages viewers to contact the artist if the children in the photos are recognized.
This book features a softcover sewn binding with cardstock covers protected by a cream-colored paper wrapper. A Red Cross design is printed prominently across the front of the wrapper. Most of the original Red Cross photos were taken by Hilmar Pabel in 1946 and 1947. Peter Langemann of Munich was responsible for the design and production of the book. The printing and binding were completed by Sellier Druck in Freising, with offset reproduction by Karl Dörfel in Munich.
This book was published in an edition of 2000 copies.
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