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Life in the Shadow of Death. EXIBITION organized by Dr. Lya Benjamin and Dr. Irina Cajal-Marin and hosted by the Ministry of Culture and Cults with the.

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Presentation on theme: "Life in the Shadow of Death. EXIBITION organized by Dr. Lya Benjamin and Dr. Irina Cajal-Marin and hosted by the Ministry of Culture and Cults with the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Life in the Shadow of Death

2 EXIBITION organized by Dr. Lya Benjamin and Dr. Irina Cajal-Marin and hosted by the Ministry of Culture and Cults with the occasion of The Day of the Holocaust in Romania October 2005

3 During the second world war, the Jewish population of Romania wasnt spared either from the tragic experience of the Holocaust. The anti-Jewish legislation, the forced transfer of the rural Jewish population to the district capitals, the introduction of the forced labor regimen; the pogrom of Iasi and the assassination by suffocation and dehydration of thousands of Jews on the death trains; the pogroms in Basarabia and Northern Bucovina, district of Dorohoi, as well as other regions of Romania and Transnistria; the introduction in this province of a systematic extermination regimen of the deportees as well as the native Jewish population; the purposeful degradation of all Romanian Jews, were all elements of the Romanian Holocaust. (from the report of the International Committee for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania)


5 The Massacre of the Jews from Iasi – June 1941


7 The Pogrom of Bucharest – January 1941

8 Testimonies Cult objects desecrated during the pogrom of January 21-23, 1941 – Bucharest

9 Snapshots from the Deportations to Transnistria – taken during the fall of 1941

10 TORA Scrolls (Old Testament) which the Jews did not part with even on the last journey.

11 The Decision regarding the destruction of the metal matrixes of discs containing Jewish music or music interpreted by Jews

12 Barb-wire wreath in the memory of the young poet Selma Eisenberg deceased in a concentration camp at the age of 18 work executed by Irina Cajal-Marin



15 Jews killed in the pogroms of Bucharest and Iasi, 1941 In the pogrom of Bucharest, between January 21 – 23, 1943, 122 Jews were killed, and thousands of Jewish homes, shops and synagogues were destroyed. In Iasi, in the month of June 1941, more than 12,000 Jews were killed: part were shot to death, the rest died by suffocation in the death trains where they were locked for days on end, under the burning summer sun, deprived of water and air.

16 Partial view of the exhibition hall

17 NOTICE Nr 17.492 November 28, 1942 The population is hereby notified that the sugar due for the month of October will be distributed beginning November 30, as follows: Christians will receive 500 gram per person. Jews ………………….100 gram per person Gypsies ………………200 gram per person

18 Books written by Jewish authors, banned from all Romanian bookstores and libraries. Costumes from the Baraseum Theater, a place of refuge for the Jewish actors excluded from all Romanian theaters.

19 Leon Alex Life and Death in Black and White

20 Leon Alex The Orchestra

21 Leon Alex Death Dance

22 Leon Alex Hallucinations

23 Leon Alex The Thinker

24 Leon Alex The Nightmare

25 Marcel Iancu Life and Death in Black and White

26 Marcel Iancu Entire families, including children, were seized while they were praying to the Almighty. Rabbi Guttman, betrayed by the local priest, was forced to assist to the shooting of his two sons, who protested against the arrest of their father. He himself was not touched by the bullets. Neither the police nor the army protected the Jews. The criminal deeds exceed the limits of imagination. Animals kill but do not mutilate their victims. In this case, however, not even the lifeless bodies were spared. We found bodies hanging by hooks at the slaughter house, with the inscription Kosher. In the woods of Jilava, the teeth and nails of the cadavers were torn out. Marcel Iancu Bucharest, January 1941 (Extracts)

27 Marcel Iancu Renowned architect, painter and sketcher in Romania between the 2 world wars. His last exhibition was in Bucharest in 1939. In 1941 he immigrated to the Holy Land. From his extremely complex creation, the Holocaust pieces are the least known. His admirers dont even mention the existence of these works. Even in Israel the respective works were displayed and catalogued only in the year 1990. In fact, Marcel Iancu started his Holocaust cycle even prior to immigrating to Israel, motivated by the gruesome events witnessed in Bucharest during the pogrom of January 21-23, 1941. The greatest impact was caused by the discovery at the slaughter house of the corpse of Michael (Mishu) Goldschlager, the artists brother in law. His body was among those hanging by hooks, with the inscription kosher. The theme of the Holocaust tackled by Marcel Iancu does not stop at the mere reflection of the pogrom of Bucharest. Rather, the cruelties of this event are depicted from multiple angles, exposing the brutality of the torturers and the suffering of the victims. We present here drawings from the catalogue of the exhibition "On the Edge - Holocaust Drawings", Jerusalem, 1990

28 Marcel Iancu The stretched out fingers express desperate wails. On the road without return

29 Sol. Omovici Life and Death in Black and White

30 Sol. Omovici Needless Shelter The Convoys During our investigation regarding the Jewish sufferings in the years of fascist oppression, a special attention was given to the massacre that decimated the Jewish population of Iasi on June 29 and June 30, 1941. What took place at that time in the capital of Moldova, when thousands of Jews were exterminated by the most brutal means, constitutes a height of bestiality and should not be forgotten. The Jewish World Congress Romanian Section


32 Sol. Omovici A grieving mother The great culpable The chestor courtyard We considered necessary to reveal in this album the works of the painter Sol. Omovici, a survivor of the famous Death Train" and eye witness of the terrible tragedy. The documentary value of the canvases featured in the present album will speak for posterity about this gruesome drama of an entire community, which found itself one step away from total annihilation. The World Jewish Congress Romanian Section

33 The Great Culpable

34 Sol. Omovici Toward the landfill Dumped corpses But beyond the sentence sealing the guilt of the sadistic assassins, the facts must be presented in their unveiled nakedness, not only as homage to those fallen al kidush HaShem, but also as a permanent act of accusation against the regime that initiated and promulgated the most heinous crimes. The World Jewish Congress Romanian Section

35 Sol. Omovici Scene from the death train For a drop of water Once we reached the railroad station, we were ordered to lie flat on the ground, after which they started shoving us in crowded train cars meant for the transport of cattle, which were hermetically sealed thereafter. The ones tardy in climbing up would be beaten. Each train car was stuffed with 100-120 people, after which the doors were locked and the windows covered with planks. We soon realized that the goal was our death by suffocation. Crowded one against the other in standing position, we were tortured by the intolerable atmosphere which reigned once the sliding door was shut.

36 Sol. Omovici Hallucinations In a puddle at Podul Iloaiei Some ripped their garments off, delirious on top of a mound of corpses." My dad had lost his mind and was biting at a plank in the train car, laughing hysterically. He would bite those around him, and me he tried to strangle. One of my neighbors had been tied by his hand and feet, so he wouldnt bite those around him. The poor man had gone mad..."


38 Lazar Zin Life and Death in Black and White

39 Lazar Zin The rabbi council congregated in a special prayer. They are asking the Almighty to forgive the trespasses against the Jewish laws, which forbid the desecration of graves and the exhumation of the bones of the dead. The bones extracted from the ground with great pains are being placed in paper sacs, marked with the inscription "Made in Germany. The drawings of the sketcher Lazăr Zin depict the fate of the Jewish cemetery in Bucharest, Obliterated at the order of the Antonescu government. Being part of the forced labor department in charge of this sinister task, Lazăr Zin drew the ornaments on the graves he was working to dislocate.

40 Lazar Zin Zoomorphic ornaments specific to the symbolism of the Judaic religion. The first fallen tree in the graveyard. The painter Lazãr Zin, wrote dr. M. A. Halevy, as a remarkable artist of the forsaken people, joined the ranks of the anonymous resistance and had the perseverance and fortitude to collect and preserve these documents sculpted in stone, so important for a a historian of the culture of Jewish Communities. Over the 2 years that the dislocation operations continued at the Jewish cemetery, Lazãr Zin realized 53 drawings depicting the graveyard and the ornaments on the funeral stones.

41 Arnold Daghani The Colors of Death

42 Arnold Daghani The Convoy and the Stables. Depicts the moment of arrival in the camp of Mihailovka, where the Jewish slaves" were housed in stables. Separated from the horses by a few planks, crowded one against the other, barely able to breath." (aquarelle, 1942) Consternation The first reaction of those beyond the barb wire. Guards and prisoners at the execution site (ink on paper)


44 Arnold Daghani The stone quarry (aquarelle, 1942) Here the guards were amusing themselves taking aim at empty brandy bottles placed on the quarry walls, above the prisoners heads. No one was allowed to interrupt their work. Snow shoveling A replica to a drawing made in the concentration camp in 1943. In the winter of 1943 the Jews were sent to shovel snow in the neighboring villages. They were marching 30 km on foot each day, through a fierce wind. Etching Portrait of a female prisoner. The names inscribed are those of martyrs executed in the camps of Mihailovka.

45 Snow shoveling

46 Etching Portrait of a female prisoner. The names inscribed are those of martyrs executed in the camp of Mihailovka. Arnold Daghani

47 All day I muse, all day I cry, aye me. I feel the pain that on me feeds, aye me. My wound I stop not, though it bleeds, aye me. Toatã ziua meditez, toatã ziua plâng, vai mie. Simt durerea care mã cuprinde,vai mie. Rana nu mi-o tratez, deşi sângereazã,vai mie. Selma Meerbaum Eisinger, 1924 -1942 Pieta the lowering of the lifeless body of Selma from the attic original variant, realized in the concentration camp on December 30, 1942 "Pieta", ulterior replica, realized in 1955 Selma Meerbaum Eisinger, a young German language poet, was born in Cernãuţi in 1924. She started writing poetry at the age of 5. She died in the concentration camp of typhus on December 16, 1942. Her first poems, published in Israel in 1986, and in Germany in 1980, enjoyed a resounding success.

48 Selma Meerbaum Eisinger, a young German language poet, was born in Cernãuţi in 1924. She started writing poetry at the age of 5. She died in the concentration camp of typhus on December 16, 1942. Her first poems, published in Israel in 1986, and in Germany in 1980, enjoyed a resounding success.

49 Arnold Daghani

50 Mrs. Zucker, the mother of 2 twin girls. Her husband managed to escape. She and the little girls were shot to death on December 10, 1943. Fedea, a public guard. Even though he didnt like the portrait and did not take it, he still paid the painter with 2 apples. A guard recruited from amongst the locals. Repatriated (aquarelle, 1946) Nanino, the painters wife, at the window of their residence in Cernãuţi. She has a premonition of the fatal outcome. Musia Korn was just 18 years of age, but looked like an old man. He died of intestinal tuberculosis. He was the last one in the family left alive. (aquarelle, 1942)


52 Arnold Daghani Berşad, a village in Transnistria, painted from behind a window. Here too, same as Mihailovka, the more brutal the offensive against the deportees, the stronger their wish to survive. (1943) Bersad (aquarelle, 1943)

53 Aurel Marculescu Life and Death in Black and White

54 Aurel Marculescu After the evening prayer The camp at Vapniarca (bedroom) Firewood in the kitchen The camp at Vapniarca (around the stove) I encourage you to carefully study the the lines carved in the wood: they are harsh, painful – similar to the life he has known. A. Marculescu doesnt weigh with false measures. The images remain impregnated on the retina, their memory persists with obsessive force, long after the last page has been turned. Sasha Pana

55 Aurel Marculescu The camp of Vapniarka In the yard of the camp On the train, heading toward the camp A. Mărculescu suffered the impact of the fascist dictatorship more than other artists, since he experienced the horrors of the deportation to Vapniarca and other places of torture and death. To the great benefit of the Romanian plastic arts, he was fortunate enough to survive these events. His health, however, was permanently damaged. His delicate organism bears and will always bear the unforgiving sequels of the suffering he endured. The pain which shines through in his eyes is also reflected in his works – gruesome and unforgiving documents. Creations of an artist of great depth, these works are brilliant artistic realizations. The etchings from the collection "Ghetto and Camp bear double witness – as to events that seal the fate of a political regime, as well as as to the unfolding of a much tested talent. ION PAS Minister of the Arts

56 Aurel Marculescu The massacre at Râbniţa The group of Jews from Romania imprisoned in the jailhouse of Râbniţa, a small township on the left bank of the Dniester, was executed in March 1944. As if by miracle, 3 people managed to escape, among which the future writer Matei Gall, author of the novel recounting this horrific event. The last journey There, on the frightening white of the Ukraine, the shadows of the fallen are blacker than the darkest black of the pallet. The retina of the artist absorbs the images, and the hand carves with its last ounces of strengths in the hard wood. Lint... barb wire... hunger... hunger... death... freedom... At night, in the yellow light of the field-lamp, the hand of the artist carves away with the knife-tip. VICTOR RUSSU

57 In their memory

58 And that of over 350,000 Jews, Romanian and Ukrainian, exterminated under the Antonescu regime, between 1940 - 1944

59 Presentation realized and donated by The Center for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism in Romania Centrul pentru Monitorizarea si Combaterea AntiSemitismului Photo, adaptation,arrangement and realization of the presentation - Marco Maximillian Katz Razvan Gateaja, Ana Maria Adritoiu and George Dumitriu – Graphics and Design The rights to the materials featured in this presentation belong exclusively to the organizers of the exhibition Life in the Shadow of Death, Dr Lia Benjamin and Irina Cajal. This presentation was realized at the request and with the permission of the organizers of the exhibition. The rights to the digital presentation belong exclusively to MCA Romania. This presentation may be distributed, free of charge, only for educational purposes. Life in the Shadow of Death

60 English translation and adaptation by Alexandra Beris Material published by

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