Thanks to the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, University of Minnesota for their efforts in keeping alive the memory and creations of those who suffered or lost their lives for the crime of being Jewish.

This exhibit is, in part, adapted from their on-line exhibition.

Following their release from the murder centers, these artist-survivors recalled their experience in this series of images.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Esther Lurie, Artist of the Kovno Ghetto

The Main Ghetto gate

Esther Lurie was born in Liepaja, Latvia, emigrated to Palestine in 1934 and returned to the Baltic States several times for exhibitions. She was caught in Lithuania when the war between Germany and the USSR broke out in 1941 and survived the Kovno Ghetto and Stutthoff concentration camp. Many of her works survived in hidden spaces of the Ghetto.

Eli Leskley's Ghetto Diary

Born in 1911, Leskley painted 70 satiric watercolors while he was interned in Terezin, the show camp and ghetto established by the Nazis in Czechoslovakia. He hid them, retrieved them after the war and recreated each one. Immediately after the war, Leskley repainted all the images to provide a satiric and poignant view of the camp at Theresienstadt.

All of the following images relate to life in Theresienstadt for Jewish inmates. They reflect the high and low, the horror as well as the humor, exploitation by the Germans as well as collaborators inside the camp, disease, hunger, cold, Zionist dreams, warnings about the future of the Diaspora and other issues. All of this was in the camp labeled in the Wannsee Protocol as the "Old Age Home for the Jews," and later the model camp used for Red Cross visits and the making of the film, "The Town Hitler Made for the Jews," which was never released.

Peter Aldor

Drawings by the Holocaust survivor artist Peter Aldor. Published by the Borochow-kr association, 1944-1945. Holocaust Memorial Art Album 1945 Hungary.
Size of the drawings 17 x 24 cm (6 1/2 by 9 1/2 in.)

Fritz Lederer: In the Eruv of Theresienstadt, 1946

A Series of 24 Engravings Created in 1946.
Each image is 25 cm x 14.5 cm.

An "Eruv is a demarcation line established around Jewish residences so that Jews may carry items on the Sabbath, as if they were in their own household.

Lederer, during World War One, entered the army and fought as an officer in Italy and in Yugoslavia.

Despite his age, even after the war he was able to create extensive graphic series where he expressed various themes from Terezín as well as the oppressive atmosphere of a ghetto.

Fritz Lederer died on 19th May 1949 in Cheb and was buried on 23rd May on the Jewish cemetery in Kynsperka nad Ohrí. This was the last burial on this cemetery.