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Halina Olomucki drawing of adults embracing children afraid of being killed

Object | Accession Number: 1989.331.3

Pencil drawing of several ghostly and anguished children and adults created by Halina Olszewski (later Olomucki) after the war. It expresses her memories of selections in Warsaw Ghetto, where children and the elderly who were not able to work, were the first to be chosen for deportation to killing centers. Nazi Germany occupied Poland in September 1939, and, in fall 1940, Halina, her mother Margarit-Hadassa, and siblings were relocated to the ghetto. Halina did forced labor, but she felt her real job was to record the misery and suffering of ghetto residents. Halina smuggled many drawings to a non-Jewish friend outside the ghetto. In May 1943, she and her mother were deported to Majdanek where her mother was killed on arrival. In July, Halina was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where she continued to create art in secret. Other prisoners asked her to draw them or their loved ones, to preserve their memory and show the world what happened. She hid artwork in the camp, much of it recovered postwar. On January 18, 1945, Halina was sent by death march to Ravensbrück and Neustadt-Glewe, where she was liberated on May 2, 1945. She returned to Warsaw but found no surviving family members.

Artwork Title
Le Ghetto de Varsovie les veillards et les enfants doivent mourir, Poland, 1947
Alternate Title
The Warsaw Ghetto: The Old and the Young Must Die, Poland, 1947
creation:  1947
creation: Warsaw (Poland)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:47:47
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