01 May

Bergen Museum Remembrance Exhibit, April 9th – June 11th, 2005

Bergen Museum Remembrance Exhibit
April 9th – June 11th

May 5th 5:30PM Yom Hashoah Program and Reception
Holocaust Remembrance Exhibit

Link to Joyce Levine web site
Contributions $10. and Members $8. Click here for details.

Joyce Levine “Never Again” Herbert Kolb “Ghetto”
Beginning in March 1942, a wave of mass murder swept across Europe. During the next 11 months 4,500,000 human beings were eliminated. By the end of World War II the toll had risen to approximately 6,000,000 Jews, which included 1,500,000 children, who perished at the hands of the Nazi murderers. When the killing ended those who survived were released from the concentration camps and came out of hiding.

Joyce Levine, on the artists in this exhibit… ”I find myself very lucky for many reasons. One is that I was born to Jewish parents, in this country, in 1938. If I had the misfortune to be born in Europe at that time, I may not be writing this statement.

I have been blessed with a loving family and I had the opportunity to thrive in security. My paintings are bright and happy. I love the art of John Singer Sargent and Joachim Sorolla. Sometimes I think I see the world through “rose-colored glasses.”

Lately, I have been taking stock of things. Because of the rise in Anti-Semitism around the world, and the fear it invokes, I decided to create some collages about the Holocaust. Little did I know what road I would go down or what wonderful people I would meet along the way.

I was surprised to know that many people who survived that terrible time live in my area. I met them and listened to their stories. I marveled at their courage. They are artists and sculptors too.

Since I did not have first hand information about the subject, I turned to the computer. There is so much information, and riveting images there for everyone to see. There are so many personal stories and, of course, photographs that defy description. They are frightening. In my quest to get information from the computer, I found Tamara Deuel who resides in Israel. She is a survivor and quite talented.

The Bergen Museum of Arts and Science has given me the opportunity to exhibit my work and the art of these people who were a part of this terrible time in history. Here are some of their stories told in art, sculpture and writings. The short paragraphs below don’t really describe the depth of suffering and the humanity of these wonderful people.

Herbert Kolb “This is not a general story what happened to the Jews of Europe, but a particular one in most cases of my family and the family of my wife….

Herbert Kolb is presenting his powerful, personal collection of eye opening and heart stirring documents, letters, paintings and artifacts. It traces the steps taken by the Nazis to make Germany “Judenrein” from the time they came to power in1933. One can feel the noose tighten around the Jews. Once regular members of society, they were first subjected to social restrictions, then confiscation of property, then loss of all freedoms, and ultimately torture and murder. The story of what happened to Herbert’s friends and family will be felt by the viewers when reading the German decrees and letters of hate, as well as the family’s letters and pictures in his meticulously documented exhibit.

The city of Nuremberg, where he spent his early years, invited Herbert Kolb to put on his exhibit. That exhibit has been reproduced by the city archives and is being shown in schools around Germany. David and Agnes Adler, both survivors, were born in Hungary, eventually meeting and marrying in Israel while pursuing their art, and finally immigrating to the United States in 1961. Bracha Agnes Adler hid under gates in Hungary, wandering constantly to elude the Nazi’s. “We were trapped in our hovels, waiting what new horrors the next day might bring us”. By luck she met Rauel Wallenberg on a street car and he sent her to a safe house where she worked as a baby nurse. In spite of all the misery, she developed a love for art and sculpture.

”We must teach future generations, so that the knowledge will enter the consciousness of humanity, that the evil may not be repeated on this earth again…We must teach our children to keep their ties to our people strong”.David Adler spent three months in a coal cellar. He was liberated by the Russians. “Jews were law-abiding. So when we were told to wear a yellow star we did. We were in survival mode”. …“I wondered how could our God afford to let 6 million of his people be destroyed?”

Both Agnes and David settled in Tel Aviv where they married. A sculpture by Agnes Adler is shown above. David pursued a dream of becoming a sculptor and studied at the Institute of Painting and Sculpture along with Agnes. In 1961 the couple came to live in the United States. David worked as an industrial model maker and pursued art on the side. Both of the Adlers enjoy life and are still creating wonderful sculptures.

Tamara Deuel of Israel was born in Kovno, Lithuania. “In 1941 when the first bomb fell on our city without any previous warning, our lives changed and my childhood finished. She lost her mother, father, and grandparents but managed to escape to a small town with her sister on the border between Poland and Germany, and there were liberated by the Red Army in 1945. Tamara Deuel’s works have been exhibited in several Holocaust Museums and exhibits in Israel including Yad VaShem, the Holocaust Museum at Tel Yitzchak, the Holocaust Museum in Washington, Acva College in Negev, Yad-Laad Museum for the Holocaust in Moshav Nir Galim. Tamara Deuel has named all of her paintings, KADDISH, from an Aramaic word meaning “holy”, one of the most solemn and ancient of all Jewish prayers. The Kaddish is recited at a grave and on the anniversary of the death of a close relative.

Although the prayer itself contains no reference to death, its use in this regard perhaps arose from the belief that saying the praises of God would help the souls of the dead find everlasting peace.“Every individual who survived that other world, has a duty to leave documentation behind so that future generations will remember and will not forget,” said Ms. Deuel.

Note: More than 11 million people were killed during the Holocaust, six million were Polish citizens. Three million were Polish Jews and another three million were Polish Christians and Catholics. Most of the remaining mortal victims were from other countries including Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, Russia, Holland, France and even Germany. The Nazis believed that both the Jews and Gypsies were racially inferior and degenerate and therefore worthless. Like the Jews, the Gypsies were also moved into special areas set up by the Nazis. Half a million Gypsies, almost the entire Eastern European Gypsy population, was wiped out during the Holocaust

The Nazis decided that it was a waste of time and money to support the handicapped. During Hitler’s “cleansing program”, thousands of people with various disabilities were deemed useless and simply put to death like dogs and cats.”In the postwar world, Auschwitz has come to symbolize genocide in the twentieth century. But Auschwitz was only the last, most perfect Nazi killing center. The entire killing enterprise had started in January 1940 with the murder of the most helpless human beings, institutionalized handicapped patients…”

Because Hitler’s plan for a great Master Race had no room for any homosexuals, many males including German, were persecuted, tortured and executed. Homosexual inmates were forced to wear pink triangles on their clothes to further humiliate inside the camps. Between 5,000 to 15,000 homosexuals died in concentration camps.Jehovah Witnesses were forced to wear purple armbands and thousands were imprisoned as “dangerous” traitors because they refused to take a pledge of loyalty to the Third Reich.

It is widely recognized that Hitler learned few would question his action since he knew that nations stood by and did nothing during the Armenian Genocide from 1915-1916 (with subsidiaries to 1922-23). One and a half million Armenians were slaughtered, out of a total of two and a half million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.Holocaust Yom Hashoah Remembrance education is included in the Bergen Museum Mission Statement. The Museum strives to bring about an awareness and understanding of the Holocaust to the pubic through art exhibits and special programs. Please contact the Museum to volunteer for the 2006 program.