Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Watercolor of craggy mountain range with a cloud-filled sky by a young Jewish soldier, 2nd Polish Corps

Object | Accession Number: 2012.471.38

Watercolor of a landscape with craggy mountains created by 22 year old Edward Herzbaum in December 1942 in Kanaqin (Khanaqin), Iraq. This city near the Iranian border is where the Polish Army of the East joined British forces. They met at the large base and field hospital 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 now was a soldier in the 2nd Polish Corps, attached to the British Army. The Corps next was stationed near Habbiniya, Iraq, from March-September 1943 to receive artillery and other military training. Edward, age 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, he 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 Anders Army, a Polish military unit formed by General Anders per agreement with Stalin. In August 1942, the unit left Soviet territory and became the 2nd Polish Corps, 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 May 1944 Battle of Monte Cassino. The unit was 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
Barren Mountains near Kanaqin, Iraq, December 1942
creation:  1942 December
depiction:  1943 March
depiction: Khanaqin (Iraq)
creation: Khanaqin (Iraq)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Krystyna Mew
Record last modified: 2021-03-01 10:16:39
This page: