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Abstract painting of a falling head by a former hidden child expressing her grief at the loss of her father in the Holocaust

Object | Accession Number: 2004.698.1

Oil painting created by Sophia Kerpholz Kalski in 1987 in memory of her father and the millions of other people who died during the Holocaust. It is a metaphorical work in primary colors depicting a male bust in silhouette floating against an abstract forest with flames and a fence below, suggesting a crematorium and the ghetto. The head is surrounded by bright red streaks; similar slashes of red appear in each painting. In early 1942, Sophia and her parents, Natan and Sarah, were imprisoned in the Jewish ghetto in Trembowla, Poland (Terebovlia, Ukraine), by the occupying Germans. Natan escaped to Lwow, and Sophia was sent to live with him. In January 1943, Natan died of typhus. Ten year old Sophia was on her own in the ghetto until March when she escaped and returned to Trembowla. That summer, the Germans destroyed the ghetto, killing or deporting its Jewish residents. Sophia and her mother escaped to Humniska, where a Gentile couple, Anna and Voitek Gutonski, hid them in an underground burrow until the Soviet army liberated the area in March 1944.

Artwork Title
My father - one of six million
creation:  1987
commemoration:  1943 January
creation: Israel
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Sophia Kalski
Record last modified: 2022-09-06 11:26:31
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