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Special Exhibit: Avigdor Arikha

On September 1, 2011, a special exhibit of artworks by the late Avigdor Arikha (1929–2010) opened in the main entrance hall of the Ghetto Fighters' House museum.

The exhibit comprises two components of the artist's works that complement each other and until now have never been displayed together. Together they tell the story of how Arikha (then Dlugach) was rescued from certain death in the years of the extermination of European Jewry, and his belated thanks to those through whose efforts his life was saved.

One element is an early oil painting that apparently has never yet been exhibited. The other consists of seven facsimiles produced in 1970 and annotated by the artist. These are Arikha's reconstructions of drawings he made as a youth in the concentration camps.

The original drawings (now kept in Yad Vashem in Jerusalem) were through fortuitous circumstances returned to him in 1960.

What is known about these drawings is that they were seen by representatives of the Red Cross on their December 1943 visit to a camp in which the youth was interned, one of the two factors that saved his life. The other was his being taken out of a concentration camp in Transnistria (at that time, part of Romania) by Red Cross personnel, using the permit of another youth who died of exhaustion on the eve of the rescue operation, as Dlugach-Arikha had not been included in the original list of permit-holders.

Arikha was subsequently brought to Mandate Palestine by the Youth Aliyah.

 

In Memory of the Unknown Jewish Child who Perished in the Holocaust

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