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Halina Olomucki drawing of emaciated women prisoners crowded in a barrack

Object | Accession Number: 1989.331.6

Colored drawing of a bunk crowded with ill and despairing women created by Halina Olszewski (later Olomucki) in Warsaw in 1945, just after the war. It is based upon her experiences as an inmate of the notorious Block 10 in Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp from July 1943 to January 1945. 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 camp les litieres dans le bloc, Germany 1945
Alternate Title
The camp of litters in the block, Germany 1945
creation:  1945
creation: Warsaw (Poland)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:47:46
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