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Watercolor of a yellow field leading to blue and gray mountains created by a young Jewish soldier, 2nd Polish Corps

Object | Accession Number: 2012.471.36

Watercolor sketch of a fields and mountains beneath an abstract sky painted by 22 year old Edward Herzbaum in August 1942 in Khanaqin, Iraq. Edward had traveled south with the Polish Armed Forces of the East, soon to be the 2nd Polish Corps, from the Soviet Union to British territory in Iraq. They met British forces at the large base and field hospital near this Iraqi border town where many died after the long, arduous march from Russia. There were oil fields near the city and it was also along a major Muslim pilgrimage route. Edward, 19, left Łódź, Poland, shortly after Nazi Germany occupied the country in September 1939 to stay with family in Soviet controlled Lvov. In June 1940, Edward was arrested by Soviet security police and exiled to a forced labor camp. Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941. Edward was released as part of an amnesty granted to Polish prisoners. He joined the Polish Army of the East, a newly formed volunteer Polish force known as Anders Army. In August 1942, the unit left Soviet territory and became the 2nd Polish Corps in the British Army. In February 1944, they deployed to join the 8th British Army in the Italian Campaign. The Corps fought its way north and was honored for heroism in the 1944 Battle of Monte Cassino. They were in Italy on May 7, 1945, when the war ended. Edward learned that his mother had died in the Łódź Ghetto in 1943. He studied architecture in Rome until the British decided to allow Polish Corps veterans to immigrate to England in October 1946. He then served in the Polish Resettlement Corps for two years and completed his degree.

Artwork Title
Mountain Impressions, Khanaqin, Iraq, August 1942
creation:  1942 August
creation: Khanaqin (Iraq)
depiction: Khanaqin (Iraq)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Krystyna Mew
Record last modified: 2023-08-25 12:47:47
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