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Watercolor of a red building within the trees by a Jewish Polish girl in hiding

Object | Accession Number: 1999.4.6

Watercolor of a red house in a forest 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. Nellie enjoyed reading Russian stories and this red house is based upon a Tolstoy story. She and her mother would talk about how things woud be different one day, and her mother promised her that they then would have a beautiful red house like this. 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
Red House in the Forest, 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: 2023-05-30 13:46:25
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