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Painting by Sophia Kalski of a building fire she saw with her father in the Lwow ghetto

Object | Accession Number: 2004.698.2

Oil painting created by Sophia Kalski in 1984 about her life as a 9 year girl in the ghetto in Lwow, Poland (L’viv, Ukraine), from summer 1942 - March 1943. It depicts a bright red fire raging across a courtyard with multistory gray buildings as a man and a girl watch from a window across the yard. In Sophia's words: "Lwow aktion in the fall of 1942 that as a result of which, the ghetto was hermetically sealed. I was then nine and a half years old and I hid with my father and the rest of the inhabitants of the building. In hiding, we waited until the end of the aktion, and then the Nazis set the building on fire, but we were able to put it out and the people who were in hiding and in the shelter survived and I was among them. This was at Zamarstynowska Street. The aktion lasted for two days."
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 was able to escape and get back to Trembowla. That summer, the Germans began to destroy 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
Lwow Aktion Fall of 1942
creation:  1984
depiction:  1942 October
creation: Israel
depiction: Lwow (Poland) (historic); L'viv (Ukraine)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Sophia Kalski
Record last modified: 2022-09-06 11:29:07
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