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Sketches of a fellow concentration camp inmate by Esther Lurie

Object | Accession Number: 1995.A.0989.8

Three sketches of Masha Rolnikaite (Rolnik) drawn by Esther Lurie, ca. 1965, for the cover of Masha's memoir, Ikh muz dertseyin [I have to tell]. They reproduce the drawing of Masha that Esther made when both were prisoners in Leibisch slave labor camp. It was published in Esther's book, Jewesses in Slavery, in 1945. Masha, 17, was a deportee from Vilna, Poland (Vilnius, Lithuania), and returned there after liberation. Esther, originally from Liepaja, Latvia, settled in Palestine in 1934. She was visiting her sister in Kovno (Kaunas, Lithuania] in summer 1941, when it was occupied by Germany. She was confined to the ghetto and had to create portraits and paintings for the Germans. She also, at the request of the Jewish Council, dedicated herself to recording the daily life of the residents. In July 1944, the ghetto was liquidated. Esther was sent to Stutthof concentration camp, where she continued to draw. Her family members were sent to Auschwitz and murdered. In August 1944, Esther was deported to Leibisch, and liberated by the Soviet Army on January 21, 1945. During the journey back to Palestine, she lived in a displaced persons camp in Italy, where her drawings of Leibisch were exhibited.

Artwork Title
Portrait of Masha Rolnik, Leibisch concentration camp, 1944
Series Title
Jewesses in Slavery
creation:  approximately 1965
depiction:  1944
creation: Tel Aviv (Israel)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Esther Lurie
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 08:54:58
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