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Monday, March 17, 2008

Artists of the Ghettos

Five artists presently represent "Ghetto Artists." That Moshe Rynecki is represented by more works than the other four represents nothing more than the fact that I feel that this project is important and deserves to be on-line as quickly as I can locate materials. I am certain other ghetto artists are yet to be discovered by me and will appear in the future.

Moshe Rynecki was born in 1881 in Miedzyrecze, a small town East of Warsaw. Early in the Second World War Rynecki was forced into the Warsaw Ghetto. Although he had little access to painting materials in the Ghetto, he did continue to paint. Only three paintings from this period of his life survived the Holocaust: "In the Shelter," "Forced Labor," and "Refugees." In early 1943 Moshe was deported to Majdanek. He died there, in the concentration camp.

"Rynecki's children"

"In the Shelter"

"Forced Labor"



Roman Kramsztyk (1885-1942) Old Jew with Children. This drawing was made in the Warsaw ghetto. Kramsztyk was murdered by the Nazis in 1942.

Gela Seksztajn (1907-1942) Self-Portrait. Seksztajn lived and painted in the Warsaw ghetto. In her will, which was preserved along with her watercolors in the underground archives of the Warsaw ghetto, she wrote, "...I am now standing at the boundary between life and death. I already know for certain that I must die and that is why I want to bid farewell to my friends and to my work. Farewell, comrades and friends. Jews! Do everything that such a tragedy will never be repeated!" She died in Treblinka in August of 1942.

Bruno Schulz (1892-1942) Self-Portrait. Schulz was a painter and writer in the Drohobycz ghetto. He was the author of Cinnamon Shops and Sanatorium under the Hourglass. He was murdered by the Nazis in 1942.

Yitzhok Brauner (1887-1944) Self-Portrait. Brauner was a painter in the Lódz ghetto in 1943. The artist is standing in the foreground of the picture.