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Pencil portrait of the head of a young Polish soldier in right profile created by a Jewish soldier, 2nd Polish Corps

Object | Accession Number: 2012.471.50

Portrait of the head of a young man, probably a felllow Polish soldier, created by 23 year old Edward Herzbaum in April 1943 in Habbinaya, Iraq. 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, British Army, which was stationed near Habbiniya from March-September 1943 receiving artillery and other military training. Edward, age 19, had left Lodz, 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, 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 Lodz Ghetto in 1943. He studied architecture in Rome until the British decided to allow Polish Corps veterans to emigrate to England in October 1946. He then served in the Polish Resettlement Corps for two years and completed his degree.

Artwork Title
Portrait of the head of a Polish soldier, Habbinaya, April 1943
1943 April
creation : Habbaniyah (Iraq)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Krystyna Mew
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Record last modified: 2019-02-11 06:58:01
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