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Watercolor of a blue lake, brown sands and a deep blue sky created by a Jewish soldier, 2nd Polish Corps

Object | Accession Number: 2012.471.51

Watercolor of a distant view of Lake Habbaniyah, Irag, created by 23 year old Edward Herzbaum in April 1943. Habbinaya was an RAF (British Royal Air Force) base and colonial town 40 miles east of Baghdad where Edward often went to swim and see movies. Edward was a soldier in the 2nd Polish Corps, now attached to the British Army. The Corps was stationed near Habbiniya from March-September 1943 receiving artillery and other military training. Edward, age 19, had 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 an amnesty granted to Polish prisoners. He headed south to join 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 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 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
Distant View of Lake Habbaniyah, April 1943
creation:  1943 April
creation: Habbaniyah (Iraq)
depiction: Habbaniyah (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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