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Air Raid, a semi-abstract steel sculpture resembling a bombed building based upon childhood memories of WWII in Budapest

Object | Accession Number: 2012.338.6

Air Raid is an abstract welded steel sculpture created by Peter Dallos in 2000. It expresses the fear of abandonment felt by a 10 year old boy of being trapped within a bombed out building, with the adults outside. The boy cannot get out and the adults cannot get to him. 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 forbidding sculptural environment that often represent Peter and his parents, as well as all those victimized by the war and the Holocaust. Hungary was a close German ally and had enacted anti-Jewish laws since the 1930s. In 1940, Peter's father and uncles were deported to forced labor camps. After 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 Deutsch was ten years old. They immediately began to systematically deport all Jews to concentration camps. Peter's father Erno was deported to a labor camp in Serbia. Peter and his mother Marie had to wear Star of David badges and move into a Jews only building. In August, Marie acquired two protective passes issued by the Swedish Red Cross which exempted them from deportation. By October, the Jews in Budapest were the last remaining Jews in Hungary. 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
Air Raid
Series Title
The War Series
creation:  2000
creation: Marshall (N.C.)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Peter Dallos
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:20:35
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