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Watercolor of a family dinner by a Jewish Polish girl in hiding

Object | Accession Number: 1999.4.4

Watercolor of a family seated at a large dinner table 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. It is part of a series of paintings about a peasant family based on Nelly's memories of the farm where she stayed briefly in 1941. Nelly was afraid of the peasants and found them unpleasant, but chose to depict them as a happy, peaceful family. 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
Peasant Family Eating at a Table, Lwow 1943-1944
Date
approximately 1943 August-1944 July  (creation)
after 1941 June-1941 December  (depiction)
Geography
creation : Lwow (Poland) (historic); Lviv (Ukraine)
Classification
Art
Category
Children's art
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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Record last modified: 2018-10-24 14:06:20
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn13637