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Real Art, Real Stories: Drawings and Writings by Children of the Holocaust

Sunday, July 16, 2006, 2 p.m.

Pictures and writings by children of the Holocaust are poignant reminders of the human impulse to create. They are also vivid testament to future generations of both the sadness and the hope that characterized the lives of Holocaust children. Elizabeth Baer will present an overview of children’s writing and poetry as recorded in diaries and on scraps or litter. These words are a moving illustration of how the Holocaust affected individuals who dreamed and suffered while paying witness to one of the darkest moments in human history. Stephen Feinstein will explore the work of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, an artist and teacher who devised innovative techniques to help her young students at the Theresienstadt (Terezin) concentration camp/ghetto overcome its dehumanizing regime and express their humanity. The children’s surviving works demonstrate how she empowered them to find light and express hope. The production of art in the process of genocide is also suggestive of the unique aspects of Nazi persecution of the Jews.

Baer is a Professor of English at Gustavus Adolphus College. Feinstein is a Historian and the Director of the Center for Holocaust Studies at the University of Minnesota, College of Liberal Arts.