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Color drawing of animals following a child past a farm family created by a hidden child

Object | Accession Number: 2009.204.25

Pencil and pastel drawing of a puss in boots, a dog with a suitcase, and a family with farm tools created by 6 year old Ilona Goldman while living in hiding in Poland from 1942-1944. See 2009.204.24 for a less polished version of this scene. In spring 1942, Ilona was separated from her parents and placed with the Polish peasant family of Hania Seremet, who agreed to hide Ilona for a fee. Drawings were the only way for the talkative child, not yet able to write, to communicate with her parents. Many drawings were done on the weekly letters Hania sent to Ilona's parents. After Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, Ilona and her parents, Salomon and Gusta, fled Krakow for Soviet controlled Lvov (Lviv, Ukraine). When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, the family was forced into the Jewish ghetto where Salomon worked as an accountant at a meat factory owned by the Wehrmacht. In spring 1942, fearing the liquidation of the ghetto, Salomon arranged a hiding place for them outside the ghetto with a former employee, Jozef Jozak. However, he would not hide Ilona because it would be too hard to conceal a lively 4 year-old. Ilona was smuggled to the countryside and placed in hiding as a Christian child with Hania. After 6 months, Salomon could no longer pay for her care, so Ilona was brought back to live in their hiding place, without the knowledge of the Jozak family. Ilona had to stay most of this time locked in a closet with only her drawings and medical textbooks left by a previous tenant. The family lived in hiding until the Soviet Army liberated the city in July 1944. When the war ended in May 1945, they returned to Krakow.

creation:  approximately 1942-1944
use: Lvov (Poland) (historic); L'viv (Ukraine)
Children's art
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Alona Frankel
Record last modified: 2022-05-13 13:32:43
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