Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Abstract bronze statue of a concentration camp inmate made by a Czech Jewish survivor

Object | Accession Number: 2003.397.1

Small bronze statue cast from the figurine made by Vera Meisels from a bar of washing soap shortly after her liberation from Theresienstadt concentration camp in early May 1945. This figurine was cast in 2002 because the original was drying out and losing its original shape. The work is based upon Vera's memories of the concentration camp inmates called Musselmann, prisoners near death due to exhaustion, illness, starvation, or hopelessness. In August 1944, eight year old Vera, her parents, Cecilia and Zoltan, and her 12 year old sister, Aliska, fled Ruzomberok, Czechoslovakia, after the Slovak National Uprising against the Nazi allied government. They hid in the mountains, but when they ran out of food, returned to town and were arrested by the Germans. Vera’s father was sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Vera, her sister, and her mother were deported to Auschwitz, but the train was redirected to Theresienstadt because recent actions by saboteurs had destroyed parts of the camp. On May 9, 1945, the camp was liberated by the Soviet Army. Vera, Cecilia, and Aliska returned to Presov where they were reunited with Zoltan.

Artwork Title
commemoration:  1944 December-1945 May
creation:  2002
creation: Tel Aviv (Israel)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Vera Meisels
Record last modified: 2021-12-10 07:33:58
This page: