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Collage painting of a Jewish man’s beard being cut off created by a Polish Jewish artist

Object | Accession Number: 2018.398.1

Painting with collage elements of laughing Nazi soldiers cutting off a Jewish man’s beard and payah, painted by Holocaust survivor Judith Evan Goldstein in 1997 from her memory as a child living in the ghetto. Forcibly removing beards and payot, Jewish cultural symbols, from men was a common method of persecution against Jews during the Holocaust. Judith was a child living in Vilna, Poland (now Vilnius, Lituania) when the country was occupied by Germany and the Soviet Union in September 1939. In June 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union, occupied Vilna, and initiated measures targeting the Jewish population. Jewish property was vandalized and taken, men were abducted and conscripted into forced labor battalions, and the Jewish population was forced into two overcrowded ghettos. In September 1943, the ghetto was liquidated and Judith, her mother, and aunt were transported to Kaiserwald concentration camp in German-occupied Latvia, where Judith was a forced laborer for Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft (AEG). In September 1944, they were evacuated to Stutthof labor camp in Poland, where they worked at Thorn (Toruń), an AEG subcamp. On January 20, 1945, they were evacuated and force marched toward Bromberg, Germany (now Bydgoszcz, Poland). Judith, her mother, and aunt escaped and hid in a house until Soviet forces found them the next day. After liberation, they went to Lodz and reunited with her brother and learned her father had been liberated by the Soviets, but died fighting in the Soviet army. The family lived near the Zeilsheim displaced persons (DP) camp in Frankfurt am Main, and immigrated to the United States in 1949. Later in life, she began creating art and music based on her experiences and has also been featured in over 20 exhibits.

Title
Anguish
Date
creation:  1997
depiction:  1943 September
Geography
depiction: Wilno getto (Vilnius, Lithuania); Vilnius (Lithuania)
creation: United States
Language
English
Classification
Art
Category
Paintings
Object Type
Collage (lcsh)
Genre/Form
Art.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Judith Evan Goldstein
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Record last modified: 2019-02-11 06:59:01
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn625852