Oral history interview with Claudia Cords-Damon
Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
- Claudia Cords-Damon
2015 April 15
North Sutton (N.H.)
9 digital files : WAV.
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Story Preservation Initiative
Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:38:54
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn538189
Also in Oral history interviews of the Story Preservation Initiative collection
Oral history interviews produced by the Story Preservation Initiative.
Samuel Bak, born on August 12, 1933 in Vilna, Poland (Vilnius, Lithuania), describes being eight years old when the Germans invaded in 1941; the creation of a ghetto for the Jewish population; hiding with his parents in a local monastery; going to the ghetto with his parents; painting and having his first exhibition (in the Vilna ghetto) in 1942 at the age of nine; being sent with his family to a labor camp on the outskirts of the city; his mother’s escape and survival when she took refuge with a distant relative who had converted to Christianity and was living undetected in Vilna; his father, who managed to save Samuel by dropping him in a sack out of a ground floor window of the warehouse where he was working; being met by a maid and brought to the house where his mother was hiding; his father’s death in July 1944 when he was shot by the Germans; the execution of his four grandparents earlier at the killing site in the Vilna suburb called Ponary; the end of the war and continuing to paint at the displaced persons camp in Landsberg, Germany (1945-1948); studying painting in Munich, Germany; the influence of the artist Albrecht Durer on his art; immigrating with his mother to Israel in 1948; studying for a year at the Bezalel Art School in Jerusalem; fulfilling his military service then spending three years (1956-1959) at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France; his book (Painted in Words: A Memoir, 2001) and art; and his thoughts on why people choose different paths.
Wolf Kahn, born in Stuttgart, Germany, discusses his father, who was the conductor of the Stuttgart Philharmonic; his mother, who left their family when he was a toddler; his father’s new wife; his unpleasant relationship with his stepmother; living with his paternal grandmother in Frankfurt, Germany; his stepmother’s support of the Nazis; learning English from a family retainer from England; being encouraged to draw; living at the entrance of the Botanical Gardens in Frankfurt; being 11 years old when the war began; going on a Kindertransport to England; living in Cambridge and staying with a family who mistreated him; living with another family, the Purvises, who put him in school; making friends with the English children; going to New York, NY when the Blitzkrieg began; the journey on the “Volendam”; reuniting with his father; attending the High School of Music & Art in New York; joining the Navy and passing the Eddy test; getting out of the Navy and attending The New School in New York; studying with Stuart Davis; transferring and joining his brother at The Hofmann School; his interactions with Hans Hofmann and becoming his studio assistant; attending the University of Chicago and graduating after eight months; receiving a scholarship to go to School of Humanities; deciding to go to work in the woods; returning to New York and helping to found the Hansa Gallery; his first show; influences on his art; living in Venice, Italy and how it changed his style; living in Deer Isle, Maine for a summer and its influences on his work; and his thoughts with regards to painting landscapes.