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Watercolor of a large tent with a military vehicle created by a young Jewish soldier, 2nd Polish Corps

Object | Accession Number: 2012.471.43

Watercolor of a large tent and a military vehicle in the desert created by Edward Herzbaum in Iraq circa 1943 where the 2nd Polish Corps was training with the British Army. Edward was a soldier in the Polish Army of the East which had marched south from the Soviet Union to join the British Army in Iraq. They journeyed to Kanaqin where the British had a large military base and field hospital. Many died there after the long, arduous march from Russia. The Corps next went to Habbiniya where from March-September 1943 they received artillery and other military training. Edward was in the 5th Kresowa Infantry Division, 2nd Polish Corps, British Army. Edward, age 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, 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 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, 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 their bravery in the May 1944 Battle of Monte Cassino. They were 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
Tent Encampment, Iraq, 1942-43
creation:  after 1942 August-1943
creation: Iraq
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Krystyna Mew
Record last modified: 2021-03-01 10:31:43
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