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Painting by Sophia Kalski based on her experiences as a young girl in a red dress watching children play a game in the Lwow ghetto

Object | Accession Number: 2004.698.5

Oil painting created by Sophia Kalski in 1987 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 blond haired girl in red dress looking out a large window in a white room at a line of children playing in a courtyard. In Sophia’s words: "Children play in the Lwow ghetto in the fall of 1942. Most of the time the children were inside without an opportunity to go out, and only when there was a moment of peace, the children would play in the courtyard under the supervision of their parents. The game that they were playing was always the same - building bridges. The game itself lacked the joy of childhood. Already then, the children didn't know how to laugh."
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
Children Play in the Lwow Ghetto
creation:  1987
depiction:  1942 September-1942 December
creation: Israel
depiction: Lwow (Poland) (historic); L'viv (Ukraine)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Sophia Kalski
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:47:38
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