From the Yad Vashem exhibit "the Refugee" by Felix Nussbaum
From the Yad Vashem exhibit "the Refugee" by Felix NussbaumCourtesy Yad Vashem

Holocaust Museum Yad Vashem has set up a special art exhibition at Berlin Historical Museum in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which takes place on Wednesday January 27th. As part of the exhibition, Yad Vashem has sent 100 works of art that were made during the Holocaust. The exhibition will be on view in the Berlin Museum until the end of April.

Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev says, “From the works that survived the Holocaust, one can easily recognize the power that these pieces provide in telling the human story of the Jewish victims. This exhibition offers a rare opportunity, a meeting of the minds with those artists, especially in Berlin. This is a meeting of the minds between a modern person and a person who experienced the horrors of the Holocaust. Each work represents a living testimony from the Holocaust and the steadfast human spirit that refused to surrender.”

The new exhibition will be the largest and most comprehensive exhibition of original works from Yad Vashem’s collection of art from the Holocaust which includes more than 10,000 items that have been displayed at some point in Israel. The works of art display the struggles that the artists went through during the Holocaust. Some of the artists even risked their lives to create their art. The exhibition will display the art according to category, and next to each work of art the biography of the artist will appear in three languages, English, Hebrew and German.

The curator of the exhibition and Director of Yad Vashem’s art department, Eliad Morah-Rosenberg, said that “these writings and paintings  are the work of 50 artists half of whom perished during the Holocaust. They show the tension which the artists felt as they were torn by the need to show their suffering while at the same time wanting to escape into the realm of their imagination, their art and beauty. It is a testament to the strength of the human condition that kept these artists alive in the camps, ghettos and in hiding.”

Kai Diekmann, the chief Editor of the German newspaper Bild, who was one of the organizers of the exhibition, said, “I hope that this exhibition helps to rebuild the bridge between the German and Jewish peoples.”

(Attached picture "The Refugee" is the work of Felix Nussbaum (1904-1944) from Brussels 1939. It is oil on canvas and from the Yad Vashem collection)