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Autobiographical painting depicting a young girl and her parents as refugees in flight painted postwar by a Croatian Jewish woman

Object | Accession Number: 2012.470.2

Grayscale painting created by Dina Pollak Gabos in 1977, commemorating her family’s escape from Yugoslavia to Italy in December 1941. The Axis powers invaded Yugoslavia on April 6, 1941. Dina, age three, and her parents Otto and Rifka lived in Zagreb, which became part of Croatia and was ruled by the fascist anti-Semitic Ustasa regime. On April 28, Otto was sent by the Ustasa police to Kerestinec concentration camp, but was released in June. In October, the family fled to Italian controlled Ljubljana. They lived in hiding until they escaped to Italy in December 1941. The family lived as confined refugees in Valdobiadenne, Italy, from January 1942 until September 1943, when Italy was occupied by Germany after the Italians surrendered to the Allies. The Pollak family acquired false papers and fled to southern Italy. They were freed in July 1944, then lived in Santa Croce displaced persons camp in Bari. Rifka’s mother, eight siblings, and their families were all murdered in Croatia during the war. In 1950, Dina and her parents emigrated to New York.

Artwork Title
Family escapes Yugoslavia in 1941
commemoration:  1941 December
creation:  1977
creation: United States
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Dina Pollak Gabos
Record last modified: 2023-02-23 16:44:41
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