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War, a minimalist welded steel sculpture symbolizing childhood memories of WWII in Budapest

Object | Accession Number: 2012.338.1

War is a semi-abstract, black painted steel sculpture created by Peter Dallos in 1998. It is an allegorical work that expresses the helplessness of the individual amidst the upheaval of war which Peter, as a young boy, experienced as a surreal nightmare. It is one of nine works in The War Series, created from 1988-2012. Each work has small, thin brass rods carefully positioned in the sculptural environment that often represent Peter and his parents, and all those victimized by the war and the Holocaust. Hungary, a close German ally, enacted anti-Jewish laws in the 1930s. In 1940, Peter's father and uncles were deported to forced labor camps. After the German the defeat at Stalingrad, Hungary sought a separate truce with the western Allies. To thwart these efforts, Germany occupied Hungary on March 19, 1944, when Peter was ten. They immediately began to systematically deport all Jews to concentration camps. Peter's father Erno was deported to a labor camp in Serbia. In August, Peter's mother Marie acquired two protective passes issued by the Swedish Red Cross which exempted them from deportation. On October 15, a German orchestrated coup brought the antisemitic, fascist Arrow Cross Party to power and deportations increased. In November, Peter and Marie moved into a Swedish protected house. In December, during the siege of Budapest, there was no electricity, gas, or water, and no glass in building windows. People feared starvation. The city was continuously bombed and they stayed in the standing room only cellar most of the time. In mid-January 1945, their section of the city, Pest, was liberated by the Soviet Army; Buda was freed on February 13. Peter's father did not return and they later learned that he had been killed during a death march. Nearly all of Peter's relatives in Hungary when the war began perished.

Artwork Title
Series Title
The War Series
creation:  1998
creation: Marshall (N.C.)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Peter Dallos
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:20:34
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