Holocaust Art: Yehuda Bacon And Joseph Bau

1036 words - 5 pages

Yehuda Bacon and Josef Bau are two artists who survived the same horrific time in history. Although they have different backgrounds and different artistic styles, their artwork has been used to tell the same stories to the world. Both men survived the Holocaust and spent time in concentration camps, and both men lost family and friends at the hands of the Nazis. Through their artwork they both tell their individual stories and illustrate the atrocities that affected the entire world, and provide a personal view of what the individual experienced and took away from the experience.

Yehuda Bacon was born on August 28, 1929 in Moravská Ostrava, Czechoslovakia. At only 13 years of age he and ...view middle of the document...

Just over a year later he produced a set of drawings that depicted the gas chambers and other parts of the Auschwitz death camp that were entered in to evidence in the 1961 Eichmann trial as prosecution exhibits. After the war, Yehuda immigrated to Israel and studied art at the Bezalel Academy of Art. He then continued his studies in Europe, the United Kingdom, New York and Paris. He has since lectured in the art department of Haifa University, as well as at the school where he himself studied; the Bezalel Academy of Art, in Jerusalem. Yehuda’s artwork has helped to honor the victims of the Holocaust and demonstrate the personal toll that a death took on one young man. His work has been featured in many exhibits around the world.

Joseph Bau was born in June of 1920 in Krakow, Poland. He was studying at the University for Plastic Arts in Krakow when he was ordered to the Krakow ghetto. He was later imprisoned in the Plaszow, Gross-Rosen, and Brunnlitz concentration camps. Most of his family members died as a result of their internment. In a true example of finding happiness in the most horrible situations, he met his future wife while he was being detained at a concentration camp. He and his wife Rivka were married in secret after he smuggled himself into the women’s camp – an act that was immortalized in film when it was included in Stephen Spielberg’s film “Schindler’s List”. While imprisoned, Joseph’s life was literally and metaphorically saved by his art. He was considered by the Nazis to be too valuable for extermination due to his skills as a draftsman. He made maps, drew plans, and created signs in gothic script as a captive worker. Using those same skills, he also helped save 400 people by forging documents and identity papers. At the same time, he also had an outlet for his creative art by writing and illustrating a small book of poetry. None of the atrocities he was witness to were depicted in this book.

After the war, Joseph re-enrolled in, and was finally able to graduate from...

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