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Muted watercolor of two trees in a green, overgrown field by a Jewish soldier, 2nd Polish corps

Object | Accession Number: 2012.471.90

Impressionistic watercolor of two scraggly, bare trees in a brown and green field near Castrocaro, a small spa town near Bologna, Italy. It was painted by Edward Herzbaum in March 1945 while his unit of the 2nd Polish Corps advanced through Italy during the war. Edward, 19, left Lodz, Poland, shortly after Nazi Germany occupied the country in September 1939 to stay with family in Soviet controlled Lvov. In June 1940, Edward 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 headed south to join the Polish Army of the East, known as Anders Army, a volunteer Polish military unit formed by Generals Sikorski and 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 its way north and was honored for its heroic service in the May 1944 Battle of Monte Cassino. They were in Italy on VE Day, May 8, 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
Trees and White Blossoms near Castrocaro, March 1945
Date
1945 March  (creation)
Geography
depiction : Castrocaro Terme (Italy)
creation : Castrocaro Terme (Italy)
Classification
Art
Category
Paintings
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/irn61302