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Object | Accession Number: 1994.66.1.5

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    Brief Narrative
    Portfolio of 24 prints of drawings by George Zielezinski of scenes from German concentration camps published in Germany in 1946. The portfolio was acquired in Germany by Dixie Foster while she worked as a secretary during the war crime trials held following the end of World War II.
    Artwork Title
    Before the Bath
    Series Title
    24 drawings from the concentration camps in Germany
    publication: Munich (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Sophy Bernstein
    "Zielezinski", lower right corner
    Artist: George Zielezinski
    Jerzy Zielezinski was born on March 28, 1914, in Lowicz, Poland, to Catholic parents, Josepha and Stanislau Zielezinski. He had a sister Helena and other siblings. Jerzy was a painter. Nazi Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. His father was killed by the Germans for refusing an order. Jerzy was sent to the Warsaw ghetto which was established by the Germans in October 1941. On March 23, 1943, he was arrested for political activity. In early May, Jerzy was transported to Auschwitz concentration camp as a political prisoner. He was assigned prisoner number 119517. In January 1944, Jerzy was transferred to Flossenbürg concentration camp and assigned number 4817. While interned, Jerzy was severely beat by a guard and lost the hearing in one ear. When the doctor who treated him learned that he was an artist, he gave Jerzy some paper and charcoal. Jerzy begin secretly creating sketches of the scenes he witnessed in the camp. When the guards learned that Jerzy was an artist, he was able to improve his situation at the camp by drawing birthday and Christmas cards for them. Between April 15-20, 1945, as Allied forces approached, the SS began to evacuate the camp, sending prisoners by train and forced march toward Dachau concentration camp. Jerzy was at Dachau when the camp was liberated on April 23 by American troops. Jerzy then went to Schwandorf displaced persons camp. He was hospitalized in a DP hospital from September - December 1945. While recuperating, Jerzy used his sketches as the basis for finished drawings of concentration camp scenes. In January 1946, he relocated to Munich DP camp. Jerzy's first wife, who was Jewish, had been sent from Poland to Germany as a forced laborer. She was killed during a bombing raid. He Americanized his name to George. Two books of his drawings of ghetto and concentration camp life were published in 1946: K.Z. Album, which visualized his experiences in Warsaw Ghetto, and 24 drawings from concentration camps in Germany.

    On April 5, 1949, he sailed with his wife, Elsie, who was born in 1922 in Czechoslovakia, from Hamburg to Boston on the SS Marine Flasher. He changed his name to George Ziel and settled in New York. The American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia sold signed sets of his portfolio, 24 drawings from concentration camps in Germany, to help George, who was then working as a dishwasher in New York City. His wife was a nurse. In 1956, he became a naturalized citizen. By 1954, George had begun a successful career as a commercial artist. He was well known for his covers for pulp fiction paperbacks, especially Gothic romance and mystery titles. He was a member of the Society of Illustrators. Elsie died in 1981. George, 67, died on February 28, 1982, in Connecticut.

    Physical Details

    Object Type
    Prints (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Reproduction numbered (3) and titled, lower right corner; image of group of human figures packed together, at left, [being forced?] to move towards an open passage, bightly lit
    overall: Height: 11.890 inches (30.201 cm) | Width: 15.750 inches (40.005 cm)
    overall : paper, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Zielezinski, George.

    Administrative Notes

    The portfolio was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1994 by Sophy Bernstein.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 21:56:21
    This page:

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