A Holocaust Memorial Exhibit

This exhibit includes paintings by Larry Lagin, a retired scientist, artist, and President of the East Bay Holocaust Education Center.

Many of paintings are based on photographs from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

Introductory video from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

Holocaust eyewitness video clips from IWitness from USC’s Shoah Foundation Institute in Los Angeles.

 
1 - A young boy in athletic shorts.JPG

Before the Holocaust

A young boy (Yehiel Mintzberg) in athletic shorts, before the outbreak of the war. 

 

He lived in Poland during the war, until October 1942, when he was deported to Treblinka, and murdered. He was ten years old.

Hover cursor over image to view original photo

Based on Yad Vashem Museum Photo Archives photo submitted by his aunt, Lola Politanski from Israel.

28”x22” acrylic painting on canvas by Larry Lagin  (2017). 

 

Rise of Anti-Semitism, 1933–1938

In the early years of the Nazi regime, Adolf Hitler established hundreds of legal measures that excluded Jews from public life, the professions, and public education.

Herman discusses in this clip the Nuremberg Laws and their effect on daily life of persons labeled as Jews.

Terms to Know

Anti-Semitism: hostility or prejudice against Jewish people

Nuremberg Laws: anti-Jewish laws that began in 1935

 

The goal of Nazi Anti-Semitic propaganda was to demonize Jews and to create a climate of hostility and indifference toward their plight.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Introduction to the Holocaust. https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/introduction-to-the-holocaust. Accessed on November 5, 2018.

Based on U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archives #042034. Copyright of U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Courtesy of Salo Kluger. 28”x22” acrylic, marker, and crayon painting on canvas by Larry Lagin (2019). 

How can you tell the difference between fact and fiction?

How can stereotypes be harmful?

Terms to Know

Propaganda: the spreading of information––in this case, lies–– to influence public opinion.

Caricature: an exaggerated picture, description, or imitation of a person

Stereotype: an idea or belief about a group of people

Hover cursor over image to view original photo

A page from an anti-semitic coloring book [1933–39]

The caricature has been colored in. The caption at the bottom of the page reads: "Do you know him?" In the upper left hand corner is the logo featuring a Star of David superimposed over a caricature of a Jewish face. The caption under the star reads: "Without a solution to the Jewish question, there will be no salvation for mankind."

 
3 - Two young brothers in the Kovno ghet
2- Two young (girl) cousins from the Kov

Two young girl cousins shortly before they were smuggled out of the Kovno ghetto

 

The Stars of David they are wearing were fashioned out of wood by their uncle.

A Lithuanian family hid the children and both girls survived the war. Kovno, Lithuania, August 1943.

Based on U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archives #06546. Copyright of U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

22”x28” acrylic painting on canvas by Larry Lagin  (2016). 

Based on U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archives #10945. Copyright of U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

28"x22" acrylic painting on canvas by Larry Lagin (2016).

Two young brothers, seated for a family photograph in the Kovno ghetto 

 

The boy on the left was two years old. His older brother on the right was five years old.

 

One month later, they were deported to the Majdanek camp. Kovno, Lithuania, February 1944.

Hover cursor over image to view original photo

Hover cursor over image to view original photo

The Yellow Star

Dina remembers the first time she had to wear the yellow star outside, in Prague, Czech.

Jews throughout Europe were forced to wear Yellow Stars as a form of identification.

What significance do you think this had?

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A synagogue in flames

A synagogue in Siegen, Germany, during Kristallnacht on November 9-10, 1938

Hover cursor over image to view original photo

Based on Yad Vashem Photo Archives #136BO9.

22”x28” acrylic painting on canvas by Larry Lagin (2019)

 

Kristallnacht, November 9, 1938

On November 9, 1938, Jewish businesses and synagogues were destroyed (KristallnachtThe Night of Broken Glass) in the first act of state-sponsored violence against the Jewish community.

It is called “The Night of Broken Glass” because of shattered glass that littered the streets after the vandalism and destruction of Jewish-owned businesses, synagogues and homes.  

 

Over 30,000 Jewish males were rounded up and taken to concentration camps. 

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Introduction to the Holocaust". https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/introduction-to-the-holocaust. Accessed on November 5, 2018. 

In this clip, John explains his initial disbelief of the destruction the night of Kristallnacht, and his reactions to seeing this desecration firsthand. 

Terms to Know

Tanakh: Hebrew Bible

Synagogue: Jewish place of worship

How is the painting different than the photograph? How was Kristallnacht a turning point?

Life in the Ghetto, 1933–1938

Many Jews were forced out of their houses, their belongings were confiscated, and they were restricted to live in ghettos.

Joseph discusses confinement, starvation, and the climate of fear in the Lódz ghetto in Poland after it was sealed, in May 1940.

Did you know?

The word Ghetto was used as early as the 16th century to designate an segregated area where Jews were restricted to live.

Gentile: non-Jewish person

 

Family members say goodbye to a child

 

A child, who has been selected for deportation, bids farewell to his family through the wire fence of the central prison, in the Lodz ghetto.

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4 - Family members say goodbye to a chil
5 - Deportation of Jewish children from

Deportation of Jewish children

 

From the Lodz ghetto, in Poland, September 1942.

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Based on U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archives #50365. Copyright of U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Courtesy of Jacob Igra.

22”x28” acrylic painting on canvas by Larry Lagin  (2016). 

Based on U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archives #89772. Copyright of U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

22"x28" acrylic painting on canvas by Larry Lagin (2016).

Life in Hiding

During the war, Marcia hid in Kaunas, Lithuania, with a non-Jewish family who was very kind to her. 

 

Marcia explains in this clip that the family risked their lives to keep a Jewish child in their home.

Righteous Gentiles

Non-Jews who risked their lives to hide and save Jews are called Righteous Gentiles.

What character traits do you think they had in common?

 

Administering the "Final Solution"

1939–1945

Between 1939 and 1944, Nazi German authorities deported millions of Jews from Germany and from occupied territories to ghettos and to killing centers, often called extermination camps, where they were murdered in specially developed gassing facilities.

In 1933, the Jewish population of Europe stood at over nine million.

By 1945, the Nazis and their collaborators killed nearly two out of every three European Jews as part of the “Final Solution”.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Introduction to the Holocaust". https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/introduction-to-the-holocaust. Accessed on November 5, 2018. 

Hover cursor over image to view original photo

A Young boy with his hands up being driven from the Warsaw ghetto

6 - A young boy with his hands up.JPG

Based on U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo #26543A. Copyright of U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

22”x28” acrylic painting on canvas by Larry Lagin (2019) 

Homeless children in Warsaw Ghetto

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6 - Starving Jewish children in the Wars

Based on a photograph from the Polish book "Martyrdom Struggle, Extermination of Jews in Poland" by Adam Rutkowski via "A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust"

22”x28” acrylic painting on canvas by Larry Lagin  (2016). 

Concentration or Extermination?

These words are sometimes used interchangeably, but the main difference is the original purpose. Concentration camps, by definition, are detainment centers. Extermination camps, or death camps, were specifically designed for murder.

 

The Extermination Camps

TRIGGER WARNING: This clip contains disturbing details

Erna emotionally recalls in this clip arrival and intake procedures at Auschwitz II-Birkenau. She describes the fate of newly arrived internees.

 

Erna talks about volunteering for work, a measure she employed to try to be reunited with her parents.

 

Jewish woman walks towards the gas chambers

She is with three young children and has a baby in her arms, after going through the selection process on the ramp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, May 1944.

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7 - A Jewish woman walks towards the gas

Based on U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo #77217. Copyright of U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

22”x28” acrylic painting on canvas by Larry Lagin (2017)

Liberation, April 11, 1945

Bernard relates in this clip his experience as an American soldier liberating the Gunskirchen concentration camp in Austria in May of 1945. 

 

Surviving children of the Auschwitz camp

They are leaving the children's barracks, soon after liberation. Poland.

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8  - Surviving children of the Auschwitz

Based on U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo #70262. Copyright of U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Photograph courtesy of Lydia Chagoll.

22”x28” acrylic painting on canvas by Larry Lagin (2017)

9 - Camp survivors from Buchenwald's %22

Camp survivors from Buchenwald's "Children's Block 66"

Soon after liberation. Germany, after April 11, 1945

Hover cursor over image to view original photo

Based on a photograph from Federation Nationale des Deportes et Internes Resistants et Patriots.

22”x28” acrylic painting on canvas by Larry Lagin (2017)

After the Holocaust, 1945–57

In the aftermath of the Holocaust, many of the survivors found shelter in displaced person camps administered by the Allied powers.  Between 1948 and 1951, almost 136,000 Jews immigrated to the newly-established state of Israel.

Other Jewish displaced persons immigrated to the United States and other nations.  The last camp for Jewish displaced persons closed in 1957.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Introduction to the Holocaust". https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/introduction-to-the-holocaust. Accessed on November 5, 2018. 

Lulek's Journey

Yisrael Meir Lau was born in 1937, in Poland. His nickname was Lulek. His father, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Lau, was killed in the Treblinka extermination camp.

​As a seven-year-old, after a traumatic separation from his mother, Lau was imprisoned in a Nazi labor camp and then in Buchenwald extermination camp.

He was freed from the Buchenwald in 1945, and immigrated to Palestine, pre-state Israel, in July 1945.

Terms to Know

Rabbi: Jewish scholar, teacher, and religious leader

Yisrael Meir (Lulek) Lau with his coat and suitcase in hand

 

A member of the Buchenwald children’s transport, preparing to leave a children’s home in France for Palestine. Ecouis, France, June–July 1945.

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10 - With his coat and suitcase in hand.

Based on U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archives #27335. Copyright of U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Courtesy of Robert Waisman

 

28”x22” acrylic painting on canvas  by Larry Lagin (2017). 

11 - Eight-year-old Lau is held by a fel

Lulek arriving in Palestine

 

Lau is held by a fellow Buchenwald survivor, Elizar Schiff, as they arrive in Palestine. Haifa, Palestine, July 15, 1945. 

Hover cursor over image to view original photo

Based on Central Zionist Archives Photograph Reference #NKH403010.

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

28”x22” acrylic painting on canvas  by Larry Lagin (2017). 

Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, currently lives in Israel, and was the Chief Rabbi of Israel

 

He was ordained as a rabbi in 1961. Yisrael Meir is the 38th generation in an unbroken family chain of rabbis. His son is the current Chief Rabbi of Israel.

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12 - Portrait of Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau.