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Self portrait caricature by a Jewish soldier, 2nd Polish Corps

Object | Accession Number: 2012.471.80

Self portrait caricature in pastel created by 25 year old Edward Herzbaum in Italy in 1945. Edward was a soldier in the 2nd Polish Corps which joined the 8th British Army in the Italian campaign in 1944. The Corps participated in the four month long Battle of Monte Cassino from January -May 1944 and led the mountain assault in the May 1944 victory, the fourth battle by Allied forces since January to break through German defenses. Edward, 19, left Łódź, Poland, shortly after 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 joined the Polish Army of the East, known as Anders Army, a volunteer 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. In February 1944, they deployed to join the 8th British Army in the Italian Campaign. They fought their way north and were in Italy in May 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 worked for two years with the Polish Resettlement Corps and completed his architectural degree.

Artwork Title
Self Portrait in Color, Smoking a Pipe, 1945
creation:  1945
creation: Italy
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Krystyna Mew
Record last modified: 2023-08-25 12:47:47
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