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Painting by Sophia Kalski based on her experiences as a young girl inside a room with a circle of charred bodies in the Lwow ghetto

Object | Accession Number: 2004.698.6

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 young blond haired girl standing near a circle of burned bodies in front a brightly lit doorway. In Sophia’s words: "Death of the martyrs. In the beginning of Jan. 1943, there was an aktion in the Lwow ghetto in a house near us. He decided to die and not to be caught by the Germans. All the entrances to the building were sealed and they didn't let the Germans enter. The Germans set the house on fire with all the people inside."
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
Death of the Martyrs
creation:  1985
depiction:  1943 January
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 11:44:59
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