Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Sketch of a house on the back of a letter sent for a hidden child

Object | Accession Number: 2009.204.27

Pencil sketch of three girls in front of a house with a letter on the back dated July 1, 1944 created by Ilona Goldman and her father Salomon while living in hiding in Lvov, Poland (Lviv, Ukraine). The drawing is by 6 year old Ilona with architectural details added by her father. The text is a story she dictated to her father about a girl, her Mommy, and a cat with everyone returning home at the end. Ilona lived in hiding in Poland from 1942-1944. In spring 1942, at age 4, she was separated from her parents and placed with the Polish peasant family of Hania Seremet, who agreed to hide her for a fee. Drawings were the only way for the talkative child, not yet able to write, to communicate with her parents. After Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, Ilona and her parents, Salomon and Gusta, fled Krakow for Russian controlled Lvov. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, the family was forced into the Jewish ghetto where Salomon worked as an accountant at a meat factory owned by the Wehrmacht. In spring 1942, fearing the liquidation of the ghetto, Salomon arranged a hiding place for them outside the ghetto with a former employee, Jozef Jozak. However, he would not hide Ilona because he thought it would be too hard to conceal a lively 4 year-old. Ilona was smuggled to the countryside and placed in hiding as a Christian child with Hania. After 6 months, Salomon could no longer pay for her care, so Ilona was brought back to live in their hiding place, without the knowledge of the Jozak family. Ilona had to stay most of this time locked in a closet with only her drawings and the medical textbooks left by a previous tenant. The family lived in hiding until the Soviet Army liberated the city in July 1944. When the war ended in May 1945, they returned to Krakow.

creation:  1944 July 01
creation: Lvov (Poland) (historic); L'viv (Ukraine)
Children's art
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Alona Frankel
Record last modified: 2022-05-13 13:32:43
This page: