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Split scene autobiographical watercolor of 2 young partisans hiding with scenes of a roundup and execution

Object | Accession Number: 2006.125.88

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    Split scene autobiographical watercolor of 2 young partisans hiding with scenes of a roundup and execution

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Four part scene of Aryeh hiding with a friend during a roundup and execution. It was created by Arie Singer, part of a series circa 1985-2000, based upon his memories as a 13 year old partisan fighter in the forests near Vilna, Poland, (Vilnius, Lithuania) and Belarus circa 1943-1944. After the Soviet occupation of Vilna in late 1939, Arie's family fled to Glembokie (Hlybokaye, Belarus). When Germany invaded in June 1941, German mobile killing units, with the help of the local populace, murdered thousands of Jews. Arie and his mother were forced into the Jewish ghetto. His father, Zvi, age 38, was killed in the Ponary massacres in 1941. Arie and his mother, Chaya, age 35, escaped during liquidation of the ghetto. They went into hiding in the Nievier Forest near Vilna, and joined the partisans. The area was liberated by the Red Army in July 1944. After years in dp camps, Arie and Chaya emigrated to Israel in the late 1940s. Colonel Singer began creating this series of paintings about his Holocaust experiences in the mid 1980s as rehabilitation following a stroke in 1975.
    Artwork Title
    Roundup, 3000 died, June 7, 1942
    Series Title
    In Memorium: Glembokie and Vilna
    Date
    creation:  approximately 1985-2000
    depiction:  1942 June 21
    Geography
    creation: Tel Aviv (Israel)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Arie Singer
    Markings
    front, top right, black ink : Hebrew text 21.6.42 [3000 died June 21, 1942]
    top, bottom right, black ink : 7.6.42 Hebrew text [June 7, 1942, "sine" / 600 Jews / 6000 white / Poland 59 died at night 2:00 3.3.41
    Contributor
    Subject: Arie Singer
    Artist: Arie Singer
    Biography
    Aryeh (Arie) Singer was born in Vilna, Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania), on September 26, 1930, to Zvi and Chaya Sverdlov Singer. Zvi, born in 1903, earned his living in the lumber business. Chaya was born in 1908. There were multiple Zionist organizations in Vilna and the family belonged to Elzel. Aryeh attended Beit Sefer Ivrit school. Vilna was claimed by Poland following World War I (1914-1918.) After Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, Vilna, in northeastern Poland, was occupied by Soviet forces per the German-Soviet pact which divided Poland between the two powers. Aryeh, 13, and his extended family fled to Glembokie (Glebokie), (later (Hlybokaye, Belarus), thinking it would be safer. But it also became Soviet territory and Jewish organizations and practices were abolished. On June 22, 1941, Germany attacked Soviet forces in the east and occupied the region. The German invasion was accompanied by German led killing squads, which, assisted by local Lithuanians auxiliaries, murdered thousands of Jews and Polish nationals. Aryeh and his mother Chaya were confined to the Jewish ghetto in Gle`mbokie. His father Zvi was one of the more than 5000 Jewish men shot during the massacres in the Ponary Forest in summer 1941.

    In the ghetto, Aryeh and his mother lived in a small apartment and had no food most of the time. There were frequent pogroms to kill more Jews. In spring 1943, Aryeh and his mother escaped the ghetto, with the help of a partisan named Fifi. They went into hiding in the Nievier Forest near Vilna and engaged in partisan activities. Aryeh’s paternal cousin, Edith Turner, and her family also escaped and lived with the partisans. During the liquidation of the Glembokie ghetto in July-August 1943, the residents rose up against the Nazi occupation forces. The ghetto was burned and the residents were slaughtered. The region where Aryeh and his mother were living in hiding with the partisans was liberated in July 1944 by Soviet forces. Aryeh and his mother relocated to displaced persons camps where they lived for several years. They emigrated to Israel in the late 1940’s. Chaya remarried and had a daughter, Aryeh’s half sister, Miri Gur, who was born in 1947. Aryeh joined the Israeli Defense Forces, fought in the Arab-Israeli Wars, and attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He married Dr. Rina Altberker in 1958 in Tel Aviv, Israel. During the Holocaust, Rina and her family were confined to the Warsaw ghetto for two years. Then Rina and her mother were smuggled out and provided with false identities as non-Jewish Polish women. Aryeh had a stroke in 1978. He had shown artistic talent when young and he taught himself to draw and paint with his left hand as part of his rehabilitation. His mother Chaya, 99, passed away in 2007.

    Physical Details

    Language
    Hebrew
    Classification
    Art
    Category
    Paintings
    Object Type
    Naive art (aat)
    Physical Description
    Multi-color watercolor on paper with a sequence of 4 scenes. Upper left corner: Men in tan uniforms are held at gun point by a soldier in a dark green uniform. The men wearing tan bury dead bodies of Jews wearing yellow Stars of David. Lower left corner: Soldier wearing a dark green uniform and Nazi insignia keeps watch over a group of Jews wearing yellow Stars of David behind a fence. Center: Another group of Jews wearing yellow Stars of David are watched by a soldier wearing a dark green uniform and Nazi insignia. Dated 21.6.42. On right: Two young men look at papers stamped with Nazi insignia. Dated 7.6.42
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 12.625 inches (32.068 cm) | Width: 16.125 inches (40.958 cm)
    Materials
    overall : paper, watercolor, ink
    Inscription
    back, pencil : 3 3 / 31
    back : Hebrew text [59 died / City of Glembokie / Rank of German police ...]

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The painting was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2006 by Arie Singer.
    Record last modified:
    2022-08-02 10:04:53
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn523882

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