'Sweet Noise: Love in Wartime' is a book of photographs and words about the Holocaust, a subject difficult to grasp and almost impossible to document. It is also a story of love in a time of war, told in a clear voice using compelling black-and-white photographs and simple, evocative language to build a framework around this pivotal moment in history.
Hirshfeld’s parents, Polish Jews who survived Auschwitz, raised him in a small city in Alabama, where life in the South of the 1950s and ‘60s was quiet and, on the surface, mostly idyllic. But lurking under the surface was a remarkable yet tension-filled history that fully revealed itself only after he matured and had a family of his own. He knew the outer perimeters of his parents’ story: the challenges of being Jewish in a place that increasingly alienated them, their individual trajectories as they moved through adulthood, and their chance meeting in a Nazi-created ghetto where they fell in love. But it took a trip to Poland with his mother in 1993 to more fully acquaint him with the depths of their tragedies and the exceptional love story that began in 1943, sustaining them through the war. Though 'Sweet Noise' features events that began seventy-five years ago, the material is eerily timely.