Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Ink portrait of a grimfaced German pilot by a Jewish soldier, 2nd Polish Corps

Object | Accession Number: 2012.471.71

Ink portrait of a German pilot with helmet and goggles created by 24 year old Edward Herzbaum for a Polish soldiers' magazine, "Uwaga Nadchodzi!" in 1944 while in Italy. Edward was a soldier in the 2nd Polish Corps which joined the British 8th Army for the Italian campaign in 1944. He participated in the four month long Battle of Monte Cassino, during which the 2nd Polish Corps led the mountain assault in the May 1944 victory. Edward, 19, left Łódź, Poland, shortly after Germany occupied the country in September 1939. He went 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 forced laborers. He headed south to join 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 in the British Army. In February 1944, they deployed to join the 8th British Army in Italy. 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 resumed the study of 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 for the Polish Resettlement Corps and completed his degree.

Artwork Title
Captured Luftwaffe Pilot
creation:  approximately 1944 May
depiction:  1944
creation: Italy
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Krystyna Mew
Record last modified: 2023-08-25 12:47:47
This page: