Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Drawing by Esther Lurie of the path behind the ghetto leading to the Ninth Fort

Object | Accession Number: 1996.3.6

Sketch of the hills behind the Kovno Ghetto leading to the Ninth Fort 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. The Germans used the Ninth Fort as a prison and site for the torture and mass executions of 25,000 Jews from Kovno. Lurie's drawings and sketches, created from 1941-1944, while interned 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
Way to the Ninth Fort
Series Title
A Living Witness
creation:  1957
depiction:  1942
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: 2021-02-10 08:56:41
This page: