“This child was hidden in a Christian monastery of some sort, and several of the children had died. And she watched them being buried. And then she herself, played with her dolls in that way of burying them. And it was part of her life. That’s what she saw. And that’s how she played. And when her father came on a bicycle and got her and took her back to his wife, that’s how she played with her dolls. And some people did not recognize that they were survivors. They thought, because they lived in an orphanage, that they were spared the Holocaust, but they weren’t.” -Sarah Traister
Paul Kester: This is based on Kester’s memory of Nazi education in his German classroom. It’s supposed to be fantastical and foggy, where memory and emotion are colliding. The teacher is teaching Nazi ideologies about race theory between Jews and Aryans, with Paul Kester’s face now on the poster. As a boy, Kester looks out, with classmates around him that are dressed and posed to foreshadow Hitler youth. One kills a rat, and another is dressed as a train-conductor. Kester stares past the train set in front of him, cattle cars, and little soldiers which are spread around the room. Thus, his future is beginning in the classroom, where the war has invaded his youth and education. Past and present collide as this is the moment that he can pinpoint the war starting, when friends become enemies.
“A leaf Falling Down From a Tree is not a Life Anymore” based on art/words/story by Holocaust survivor Gabriella Karin, demonstrating all the lost lives swarming around her as she watched everyone she knew and love die in the Holocaust at the hands of the Nazis.
I made this piece based on Night by Elie Wiesel. It is supposed to be an endless, silent, unforgiving, cold night. The clock in the middle represents the Jews being annihilated when the clock strikes 12, with a quote from a Jew in Auschwitz. The snow is at the bottom. There are disfigured naked men running around, in sickly green. Elie walks with his foot bleeding past dead naked unburied men without graves or tombstones, making the snow a cemetery. There is a man eating bread and drinking snow with his spoon from the back of a dead man. There are Zalman's pants that he threw and himself getting trampled by feet leading to search lights in the background. Elie’s dad is in the foreground giving a haunting, out of place smile. The constellation-esque faces are supposed to be his dad calling out his name, a haunting memory in his head after his dad’s death. The three ravens are the gallows in Auschwitz with a German boy, like a fallen angel. They are presented goldy, as Elie famously says, "God is in the gallows." The heavenly, spiritual man is Elie in a crate, belly down with 25 lashes and drenched in cold water, but he appears divine in this. There is an image of him dreaming of committing suicide on the electric fence. A man screams into the soup ball as he sees American planes above. Eyes watch kids turn into smoke mid air, and a man watched Nazis shoot babies like targets. Shekinah's flame is dying down. There is also a box of chocolates in the corner, showing the juxtaposition of the nature of the nazis.
This illustration is of me and my friend Lillian Trilling, who is a Holocaust survivor. I wanted to focus on our friendship and her as a person. We talk on the phone a lot and she is always happy. The carpet is stained with blood beneath my feet which represents a rug that he dropped in a castle and was whipped by the baron, when she was hiding during the Holocaust. She wrote poetry and described herself as a ship, so I drew a toy boat on a stream, stained with blood, and drifting towards Santa Barbara. She loves Santa Barbara. I put all the names she was called, even her Chirstian name she used in hiding. I wrote my two favorite things she has said to me about talking with me and others. She is an amazing person and I wanted to capture our friendship. She is more of a friend than a Holocaust survivor to me. This captures how the Holocaust has not defined every aspect of her life. This piece focuses on how I see Lillian Trilling as an exuberant friend and not just a survivor.
I used a lot of imagery and metaphors that were conveyed directly from the words of David Lenga, a Holocaust survivor. I took a lot of notes and picked out the strongest parts for imagery and text. The cowardly lions represent the world that stayed mute and did not lift a finger. They were numb to the horrors and did not care, cowards. They are FDR, president of Cuba, immigration head of Canada, Neville Chamberlain, and the prime minister of France (who signed the Munich Act). There is a priest too, a person holding a newspaper and another holding his memoir, and someone not protesting. Since it’s 2-d Design, I decided to incorporate text. I used direct metaphors he used and made them into drawings. I also used different colors for people: pink for Nazis, yellow for imprisoned, dehumanized Jews, green for the zombies they became, numb to the pain and hardship, and more flesh tones for the humanizing parts. I tried to keep a more sketchy thing for memory and I know at times it might be hard to know where to look but Holocaust survivors constantly mix up dates and forget the order of their past. In a way, I guess you are David looking at your life and remembering all the people that didn't care. I also decided to depict the people and images in a more childlike form to illustrate the innocent perspective that Lenga had during WWII. As a contrast with the darker imagery, the innocent nature of himself still is present.
This piece is based on Eva Trenk’s story. Her brother’s name was Artur. She was in the Sered Concentration Camp, where they were breeding Angora rabbits. They were taken care of better than the Jews. It gave the Jews a purpose though, raising and nurturing the rabbits. She remembers seeing American planes but thinking they are silver birds. The childlike nature is supposed to show innocence and unraveling.