The Holocaust Art Paintings Series – Artist Statement
The Profound Effect of a Holocaust Survivor on a 12 Year Old Protestant School Girl
Several decades ago while in 6th grade, we had a guest speaker visit our class. Though she had an accent, what she said and the way she presented her story, stayed with me throughout my life. I can still see her raise up her sleeve and show us those numbers on her arm…like a branded cow. I can still see her holding up those faded pictures of her children that had been ilea, and remember how she started crying when she talked about them.
She spoke about leaving her house with her family and moving to the Warsaw Ghetto…and then the FIRE…and the walk to the train…and the horrible ride to Birkenaw. She did not tell us much about that part of her story. I think that she was considering our ages. I am grateful for that as I have become aware of the atrocities that went on there.
I promised myself that somebody I would do something to honor this extraordinary person. I am sure that she told her story to many groups, not selfishly, but in her way, to open the eyes of those to whom she spoke, that this would never happen again…
I started the holocaust painting series about 10 years ago and have worked on it off and on during those years. I have tried to tell this survivor’s story by focusing on the Warsaw Ghetto and Birkenaw. I also have done some paintings that are of children, trying to show how they might have felt…how helpless…and scared. I tried to imagine living like that everyday…day after day. Though the series could be complete now, I have plans for more paintings.