A museum, no art, lots of history.

By Published on .

The images depict the human suffering, the pain, the agony and the impotence of the Jewish Holocaust.

They do not convey the advertising attributes of joy, beauty or happiness we usually see in ad campaigns.

On the contrary, they show people living in subhuman conditions, working in forced labor and being brought to their death in an incineration chamber.

FKW's agency ad campaign for the Buenos Aires Museum of the Holocaust is a truly no-nonsense campaign.

The work was created by Christian Oneto Gaona, chief creative director; Adrián Piattoni, copywriter; and Martín Tortonese, art director.

The graphic work uses silence as one of its main elements. The tagline "A Museum, no art" is the only phrase in the entire campaign.

Willingly or not, the campaign reflects the powerful silence one tends to drown in when visiting the Museum's galleries, and I think that's the campaign's true force.

There is nothing to say, the campaign seems to want to convey. And what else could and should be said about horror, tragedy and madness?

The TV spot talks about understanding the non-understandable. "Works hard to understand, also in our Museum," the tagline says.

And the campaign was accompanied by a direct-marketing piece: a box, with a set of postcards, each one showing the "Résumé" of the Nazi dictatorship leadors: Adolf Hitler, Josef Mengele, Adolf Eichman, etc.

The opening of the Holocaust Museum was an important event in the city.

The country is no stranger to the suffering of the Jewish communities during WWII.

Argentina is home to the world's second-largest Jewish community outside Israel (the first being in the U.S.). Many members of this community arrived in the 1940s, when scores of people escaping the Nazis found refuge in Argentina.

This includes my wife Victoria's grandfather Marcos Fajngold, whose first wife and two-year-old child were murdered in their native Poland. After being rejected at New York City's Ellis Island, in Canada and in Bolivia, Marcos was able to establish himself in Buenos Aires, where he re-made his life, as many others did.

To be honest, some Nazi officers also found in our country (as in many others) a place to hide from international justice. When detected, they were always denied asylum, and swiftly turned to European or Israeli authorities.

But in some cases, they found a way to escape authorities, and were able to live many years in our land in the hiding, abhorrent as this idea can be.

One of these persons was Adolf Eichman, who fled Germany in 1950 with a Red Cross passport, under the fake name of Ricardo Klement.

Under that false identity he lived in Buenos Aires until he was kidnapped by an undercover commando unit of the Israeli Mossad in 1960. He was judged in Jerusalem and hanged in 1962.

His fake passport remained for years in a Federal Courthouse, and was given in custody to the Museum in May 2007, where a copy is now exhibited to the public.

Buenos Aires prides itself to be one of the world's capitals of Peaceful Cultural Coexistence. And the opening of the Museum, attended by religious and cultural leaders from all specters of beliefs as well as foreign nations' ambassadors, was a new step in that direction.

Its ad campaign pointed there as well.

Hasta la vista,


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