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uli bocker paris

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Published on May 2, 2008

Author: darko_x

Source: authorstream.com

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Slide1:  Photos and reportage by Uli Bocker Slide2:  Returning to Paris, where I had lived for a while 40 years ago, I was in for a triple surprise- apart from the obligatory culture shock. First: unlike London the French metropolis has been spared from any unwise experiments in "facelifting" and modernization, no want-to-be creative steel and glass towers destroy the harmony of a people-oriented architecture. So far, the only real aberration remains the Pompidou Center; with its outer ugliness and dysfunctionality surpassed only by its inner chaotic arrangement of space and traffic. (Should some architects have been strangled at birth?) A healthy mix of small medium and large businesses, of coffeehouses and restaurants, of private butchers and bakers, bookshops, florists and boutiques compete successfully with international chains. Thanks to the architect Hausmann's harmonious farsighted city-planning in the 19th century traffic flows most of the time- to Israeli ears- in near ghostly and silent fashion- without the cacophony of honks, beeps, horns and sirens. Second: public transport- Metro and buses- function reliably, without the nerve wracking noise of unsilenced exhaust and the alternating of floored gas pedal and screeching brakes. The Metro runs on Rubber wheels. City sponsored bicycles can be rented at numerous stations and riding them doesn't seem suicidal. And third: gone is the unpleasant arrogance of yesteryear. People are polite and helpful; some may even try to converse in a foreign language, like- quel horreur- English. Racially mixed couples are a common sight and don't attract any undue attention. Le Marais 1 of 3 Slide3:  One of the quietest and most charming quarters in central Paris is the Marais of the 4th Arrondisment; fiercely defended by its inhabitants against developers and speculators. Centuries old houses line narrow streets, some of which are closed to private traffic on weekends to allow pedestrians to move about unmolested by cars. From the earliest days of Paris- some 1500 years ago- Jews have lived in the Marais earning their livelihoods as merchants- of spices, perfumes and jewelry imported from the Orient. Little has been published of their early existence, other than their expulsion, in August 1183, by King Phillip, who had their properties conveniently confiscated; still, they continued to live nearby and eventually moved back into the Marais. All went well for the Jews- at least according to the available documentation- until the Nazi invasion in 1940. In July 1942, the deportation of the Jewish population began. Numerous memorial plaques, posted throughout the quarter (and mostly dated 2002) read in translation: "To the Innocent Victims of Nazi Barbarity, who with the complicity of the Vichy Government were deported to Death Camps because they were born Jewish. We will never forget them." The deportations continued until 1944. Le Marais 2 of 3 Slide4:  Today the population of the small Jewish sector of the Marais, situated between the Rue Pavee, Rue du Roi Sicile, Ferdinand Duval and the Ru des Roiers, is mostly Sephardic, comprised mainly of immigrants from the former French- North African colonies. Only the synagogue on the Rue Pavee- built in 1913 remains Ashkanazi. On Sundays the Quarter- not even the size of Tel Aviv's Kikar Rabin- attracts thousands of visitors who come to shop, and to dine- in traditional delicatessens or in Eastern European restaurants whose menus are written in Yiddish-transliterated French. And hundreds may be seen standing patiently in line for a portion of falafel- served Israeli style in a pita, but allowing one concession to French cuisine and civilization: it will come with a nice and shiny plastic fork, made in China. Le Marais 3 of 3 Slide23:  Curriculum Vitae Born1939 in Germany; Survived Hitler's Reich in a Catholic Orphanage Began work as a Freelance Photographer after High School Lived and Worked in Algeria, Morocco, Ireland, Spain, Mexico & U.S.A. Worked 10 years as a Fashion and Advertising Photographer in Dusseldorf, Germany Since 1977 in Jerusalem Until 1982 worked in Public Relations/ Propaganda, mainly Audio-Visual and multimedia Illustrated "Jerusalem: the Measure of a Year" a book published by Carta & The Jerusalem Post After an interlude of 15 years as Father/ Interior Designer/ Builder, picked up the Camera and returned to Photography Photos Published in Eretz Magazine Currently finishing Album on Jerusalem (Photography and Script) Exhibitions: Germany, Mexico, Italy, Jerusalem Fields of Interest: The Human Face of Jerusalem; Portraiture; City- and Landscapes

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