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Brown and orange watercolor of the corpse of a German soldier near Monte Cassino by a Jewish soldier, 2nd Polish Corps

Object | Accession Number: 2012.471.65

Brown and orange shaded watercolor of a dead German soldier lying in a field painted by 24 year old Edward Herzbaum. It depicts a sight he witnessed on June 1, 1944, after a battle near Portella, Italy. Edward was a soldier in the 5th Kresowa, 2nd Polish Corps, formerly the Polish Army of the East which had marched south in 1941-1942 from the Soviet Union to join the British Army in Iraq. 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. Edward, age 19, had 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. Edward was released as part of 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. 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
Whatever Remains
creation:  1944 June 01
depiction:  1944 June 01
depiction: Portella della Ginestra (Italy)
creation: Portella della Ginestra (Italy)
Object Type
War in art (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Krystyna Mew
Record last modified: 2021-03-01 10:47:18
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