Understanding the Holocaust through Art

the Holocaust
through Art
Two types of Holocaust Art:
(a) Paintings done in
the camps such as
at Theresienstadt
It is rare to find
paintings from other
camps still in
(b) Paintings done by
Survivors after their
Theresienstadt (Terezin)
• Theresienstadt was
suppose to be a safe
place. Some Jews even
paid to enter the
• The Nazis made this a
“model camp” to
deceive Red Cross
authorities in 1944:
Green grass, gardens and
flowers, children
performing opera, and a
monument to honor dead
15,000 children passed
through Terezin/100 survived.
Jews were suppose to get
10 kronen per month to buy
things with, according to the
Red Cross. Kronen were
fake money in the camp.
The most amount of people in Terezin at one time was 75,000.
Children and adults were held until they could be transported to
either Treblinka or Auschwitz extermination camps. Many elite
were placed there—for awhile.
Terezin had a rich cultural life with writers, musicians, artists,
playwrights, schools, lectures, and concerts.
Terezin Children’s Art:
Terezin had enough musicians
for two orchestras,
…but not enough food for the elderly, the weak, or the sick.
Approximately 33,000 died while the others were transported to
and killed at the death camps.
“The Story of Karl Stojka”
His brother Ossi, Z5793, died of typhus at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Ossi was six years old, had little to eat—mostly turnips, and one day he was sick
enough to go to the infirmary. He received no medical assistance nor drugs and,
thus, died. This was not considered a crime because he was only a ------ child.
Karl Stojka was deported from the family home in Vienna, Austria, painted pictures
of Auschwitz-Birkenau after he was liberated. Karl was 12 when arrested, his name
in the camps was Z 5742 and he was registered with the Eugenic and Criminal
Biological Research Unit because he was a -----. Karl survived because he was made
a waiter in the Nazi kitchen. At one point he was transported to Buchenwald and
was later to be returned to Auschwitz. His uncle said that Karl was really 14, a
dwarf, and was renumbered ASR 74,706 meaning “antisocial Reich” or a German.
When the Nazis retreated, he was sent on the death march to Flossenburg and
then to Dachau. He was liberated by the U. S. 3rd Army on 24 April 1945, shortly
before his 14th birthday. He returned with his family to Austria.
Karl’s father was sentenced in 1942 to Mauthausen where he died. News of the
death (from a heart attack) reached the family along with a small carton of bones
and ashes. The father was 32 and had been beaten to death.
Karl Stojka at 12 and after
Paintings by Stojka
1. Teachers will be given Nazi symbols to color.
2. Karl Stojka’s art will be analyzed for
Symbolic colors
Death camp drawings
Colored pictures will be given since this PowerPoint does
not do them justice.
The Stojka family were Roma (a more respectable name than
“Gypsies”). It is disrespectful for a person to “gyp” someone
because of the term’s ethnic meaning.
Roma (Gypsies)
• In the camps, Gypsies were forced to wear black triangular
patches which classified them as "asocial," or green triangles
which identified them as “professional criminals.” They were
subjected to medical experiments before they were
exterminated. At Sachsenhausen, they were subjected to
special experiments that were supposed to prove scientifically
that their blood was different from German blood. Most of
the Roma, however, were gassed at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
• Estimates place Roma deaths between 500,000 and 600,000.
In percentage, the Roma lost as many, if not more, of their
people as the Jews.
• Today there are approximately 5 million Jews in the world with
22,000 in the United States.

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