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Eyewitness drawing of troops advancing near Monte Cassino by a Jewish soldier, 2nd Polish Corps

Object | Accession Number: 2012.471.87

Vivid black and gray illustration of Allied troops advancing toward Monte Cassino created by Edward Herzbaum, 24, on May 31, 1944. Several works created by Edward were published during the war in military produced magazines. Edward was a soldier in the 2nd Polish Corps, British Army, which was honored for bravery during the four month 1944 Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy. The Allies bombed the 1349 abbey in February and the resulting ruins provided protected defensive positions for German troops, blocking the northward progress of the Allies. The 2nd Polish Corps led the mountain assault in the May victory, the fourth battle waged to break through the German stronghold. Edward, 19, left Lodz, Poland, shortly after Germany occupied the country in September 1939 for Soviet controlled Lvov. In June 1940, he was exiled to a gulag by Soviet security police. Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941. Edward was released in an amnesty of Polish prisoners. He headed south to join the Polish Army of the East, known as Anders Army. In August 1942, the unit left Soviet territory and became the 2nd Polish Corps. In February 1944, they joined the 8th British Army in Italy. They were in Italy on VE Day, May 8, 1945 when the war ended. Edward learned that his mother died in 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 worked for two years for the Polish Resettlement Corps and completed his degree.

Artwork Title
Advancing Toward Monte Cassino, May 31, 1944
Date
1944 May 31  (creation)
Geography
creation : Cassino (Italy)
depiction : Montecassino (Monastery); Cassino (Italy)
Classification
Art
Category
Paintings
Object Type
War in art (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Krystyna Mew
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Record last modified: 2018-10-24 14:07:07
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn61295