Hotel in Vawkavysk (Belarus). © Tom Licht

Father, Son and the War

Tom Licht

2013— Germany, Russia

About this series

In 2013 German Swiss photographer Tom Licht took off with his father (b. 1940) on a different kind of road trip: from their small home village in former Eastern Germany, they traveled thousands of kilometers eastward, searching for the place where his grandfather had fallen 72 years earlier during an attack on a Russian village in WWII.
The father-and-son pair sets off on an extended search for clues that follows the route of the medical sergeant and his Wehrmacht regiment until just outside Moscow. Along the way they are confronted with the unhealed scars of the 2nd World War, as well as their own unspoken psychological wounds. Tom Licht‘s highly personal photographs against the backdrop of the horrors of war and his own tragic family history, can only hint at the millionfold fate affecting the fatherless German and Sovjet postwar generation to this day.

The Dnieper River near Schlobin between Babruysk and Gomel (Belarus). © Tom Licht
Memorial Kurgan Slavy near Minsk (Belarus).© Tom Licht
In a clearing near Ekaterinovka (Russia). © Tom Licht
Russian war memorial on the way from Vawkavysk to Slonim. © Tom Licht (Belarus)
Hotel in Kiev (Ukraine). © Tom Licht
On a dirt road to Ekaterinovka (Russia. © Tom Licht
Hotel in Minsk (Belarus). © Tom Licht
An estate destroyed during the war near Serpukhov, 40km southwest of Moscow. © Tom Licht
On a field close to Ekaterinovka (Russia). © Tom Licht

Photographer: Tom Licht
Nationality: German – Swiss
Based in: Zurich, Switzerland
Instagram: @tomlicht_photography

Tom Licht lives and works as a freelance photographer in Zurich with a focus on personal projects and architectural photography. His work is influenced by questions of identity and its process of change over time. He studied architecture and completed the master class of Ute Mahler and Robert Lyons at the Ostkreuz School of Photography in Berlin.
Tom Licht`s projects were published by Kehrer Heidelberg and were reviewed in The New York Times, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Stern and Das Magazin. His book “Father, Son and the War” was nominated for the German Photobook Award. His photography has been a part of various group and solo exhibitions in Germany, Switzerland, USA, Italy and Serbia.