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Pencil sketch of four Italian cypresses and a nearby castle by a Jewish soldier, 2nd Polish corps

Object | Accession Number: 2012.471.95

Pencil drawing in diagonal parallel strokes of three cypress trees at the foot of a hill with a fortress near Castrocaro, a small spa town near Bologna, Italy. It was drawn by Edward Herzbaum in March 1945 while his unit of the 2nd Polish Corps, the 5th Kresowa, advanced through Italy during the war. See 2012.471.102 for another view of this scene. 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, he was arrested by Soviet security police and exiled to a forced labor camp. Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941. He was released as part of an amnesty granted to Polish prisoners. He headed south to join the Polish Army of the East, known as Anders Army, a volunteer 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 British 8th Army in the Italian Campaign. The Corps fought their way north and was honored for its heroic service in the May 1944 Battle of Monte Cassino. They were in Italy on May 8, 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
Cypress Trees near Fortezza di Castrocaro March 1945
creation:  1945 March
depiction: Castrocaro Terme (Italy)
creation: Castrocaro Terme (Italy)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Krystyna Mew
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 21:51:43
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