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Painting by Sophia Kalski expressing how she felt when she was a young girl imprisoned in the ghettos

Object | Accession Number: 2004.698.19

Oil painting created by Sophia Kalski in 1985 about her life as a 9 year girl n the ghettos in Lwow and Trembowla, Poland (L’viv and Terebovlia, Ukraine), from summer 1942 - summer 1943. It shows a young blond haired girl in a blue dress with a worn and distressed facial expression. In Sophia’s words inscribed in painting: "I always see myself as a small girl. The small girl in me. I feel it cannot change. Even at the beginning of old age, I remember her - the little girl. I identify with her image and everything else I push away. Everything else I push away, there is a great denial in me, the little girl in me refuses to disappear in the shadows of the years and the events chase me throughout my life, and don't let me brush them off. To grow up from the beginning always sweet and I listen to her endless story, she will never die and never disappear from me, this little big girl from the Holocaust."
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
Myself as a Small Girl
creation:  1994
depiction:  1942 September-1943 May
creation: Israel
depiction: Trembowla (Poland) (historic); Terebovlia (Ukraine)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Sophia Kalski
Record last modified: 2022-09-06 12:38:28
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