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Painting by Sophia Kalski picturing her escape through the Lwow ghetto fence when she was a young child

Object | Accession Number: 2004.698.14

Oil painting created by Sophia Kalski in 1985 about her escape from the Lwow ghetto at age 10 through the wooden fence and behind the backs of the German guards in March 1943. In Sophia's words: "Escape from Lwow ghetto, end of Mar. 1943. Zamarstynowska #1. The Germans are in the street and I'm running. I was told that through the fourth post in the fence I will be able to leave. I reached the fence, I counted four posts. In the moment the German turned his back, I discovered the hole in the fence and with the speed of lightening, I passed through this hole to the other side, the Aryan side. One minute of fear, that will bring life or death. Polish children discovered me and started to yell "Jewess!" and throw stones at me. I managed to avoid them, to run away, and to cross the street."
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
Escape from Lwow ghetto
creation:  approximately 1990
depiction:  1943 March
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 09:47:35
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