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Esther Lurie sketch of people entering the main gate to the Kovno Ghetto

Object | Accession Number: 1996.3.5

Sketch of an entrance to the Kovno Ghetto drawn by Esther Lurie in 1957, reconstructing a drawing she did in 1943, while she was imprisoned in the ghetto in German occupied Kovno (Kaunas), Lithuania. It depicts the main gate to the Ghetto with the Slobodka Bridge in the distance. Lurie's drawings and sketches, created from 1941-1944, while a prisoner in Kovno ghetto and Stutthof and Leibisch concentration camps, exhibited and published in 1945, presented eloquent visual and written testimony of daily life during the Holocaust. Esther, a professional artist, originally from Liepaja, Latvia, settled in Palestine in 1934. She was visiting her sister in Kovno in summer 1941 when it was occupied by Germany. She was confined to the ghetto and had to create portraits and paintings for the Germans. She also, at the request of the Jewish Council, dedicated herself to recording the daily life of the residents. In July 1944, the ghetto was liquidated. Esther was sent to Stutthof concentration camp, where she continued to draw. Her family members were sent to Auschwitz and murdered. In August 1944, Esther was deported to Leibisch, and liberated by the Soviet Army on January 21, 1945. During the journey back to Palestine, she lived in a displaced persons camp in Italy, where an exhibition of her drawings of Leibisch was held.

Artwork Title
First gate to ghetto and a view of Slobodka Bridge, Kovno, 1943
Series Title
A Living Witness
creation:  approximately 1957
depiction:  1943
creation: Tel Aviv (Israel)
depiction: Kovno ghetto (historic); Kaunas (Lithuania)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Esther Lurie. As art, created originally by me, from life, in the form of pen and ink drawings and watercolours, in the Kovno Ghetto (suburb Wiliampole, Lithuania, then under German occupation) in the years 1941, 1942, 1943.
Record last modified: 2022-09-07 09:25:51
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