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The Holocaust

The Holocaust Resource Center

Works of Art

The Art of the Holocaust was produced, for the most part, by Jewish artists who lived under the Nazi occupation during World War II, in the ghettos, in hiding, in the forests and concentration camps. Their faithful, courageous and fascinating testimony permits us, if only for a short moment, to sense the reality, so often considered as impossible to depict. The sketches, the drawings and paintings are neither an account nor an accusation, but rather, are a testimony of the noblest form - they represent a defiant declaration of the victory of the human spirit. Creating pieces of art under conditions where even the bringing out and preparing the painting utensils would have been a major achievement, and further in a period in which all spiritual strength was focused principally on survival, are just two indications of this unconquerable creative drive. This drive was powerful that even under the most difficult conditions it was impossible to extinguish. Many paid for it with their lives. The fact that these works of art, most of which were concealed in places of hiding, survived against all odds is in itself incredible. Their rescue demanded commitment and courage, without which, these creations would not have reached the collection of our museum.

The collection of Art of the Holocaust at Yad Vashem is the largest in the world of its kind. In recent years, the collection has expanded in new and exciting directions. Contemporary artists from the second and third generation of Holocaust survivors, and therefore artists who have no personal connection with this dark period of the twentieth century, utilize their own artistic talents and imagination along with modern techniques and thus find a means to deal with the issue of the Holocaust. We believe that these artistic expressions will enable future generations to maintain intellectual discussions on the events of the past forbidden to forget. A selection of paintings and drawings from the collection has been incorporated into the Holocaust Resource Center.

Total Sources (by media type):

Works of Art 36
   
Total Sources 36