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Watercolor of a teacher with children by a Jewish Polish girl in hiding

Object | Accession Number: 1999.4.3

Colorful gouache of a teacher walking with young girls in black uniforms created by Nelly Landau, 10, when she and her mother Rozia lived in hiding in German occupied Lwow, Poland, (now L'viv, Ukraine) from June 1943-July 1944. This painting depicts the local Catholic schoolgirls that Nelly often watched from her window, hiding behind the curtain, so she was not seen. Nelly dreamed of one day having friends and going to school. For thirteen months, Nelly and her mother had to stay in a small, locked hiding space. Her mother arranged for a neighbor to get Nelly a watercolor set and encouraged Nelly to paint and write. Nelly painted 64 paintings in hiding, all colorful pictures of happy people in imaginary scenes. Lwow was occupied by Germany on June 30, 1941, and thousands of Jews were murdered by German killing squads and local supporters. In November, Nelly, her parents Sygmunt and Rozia, and younger brother Janek were confined to the ghetto. Her father paid to hide Nelly with a peasant family, but they soon sent her back because it was too dangerous. During that time, her brother, 5, was killed during a children's round-up. Around June 1943, Sygmunt persuaded former tenants, a Christian Polish couple, Krysia and Michaj Wojtek, to hide Nelly and Rozia. The ghetto was liquidated that July. The city was liberated by the Soviet Army in July 1944. Sygmunt was presumed killed. Nelly and Rozia were the only survivors of their large extended family.

Artwork Title
Teacher with Children in Black Uniforms, Lwow 1943-1944
creation:  approximately 1943 August-1944 July
creation: Lwow (Poland) (historic); Lviv (Ukraine)
Children's art
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2023-09-21 11:52:21
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