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Portrait of her mother with false papers by a Jewish artist

Object | Accession Number: 2007.521.9

Pencil drawing of her mother, Beatrice Hegedish, drawn by Ava Hegedish, ca. 1942-1943, on one of their rare visits in Belgrade during the war after the family went into hiding in spring 1941. Her mother holds the documents she used to assume a false identity from 1941-1945 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (now Serbia.) In April 1941, Nazi Germany and its Axis partners partitioned Yugoslavia. Belgrade was under German control. Ava's father Leo decided the family's best chance of survival was to separate and go into hiding. He returned to Novy Sad; her mother and her sister Susanna remained in Belgrade. Susanna's Greek Orthodox husband had Serbian relatives with a farm near Belgrade and they agreed to take in Ava, then 15. She did farm labor and lived in this shed. To avoid suspicion and because she did not speak the local Serbian dialect, Ava pretended to be deaf and mute. She sometimes got scraps of paper and made drawings to hold onto her sense of self and her memories of her family. The region was liberated in October 1944. Ava searched for family in Belgrade. She learned that her sister was killed and her father murdered in Auschwitz. She was reunited with her mother and they settled in Belgrade where Ava attended art school.

Artwork Title
Mother with her False Documents, 1942-1943
creation:  1942-1943
creation: in hiding; Serbia
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Ava Kadishson Schieber
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:25:40
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