Exhibit tracks lives of Child Holocaust Survivors

 

Portrait of Garry Fabian

By Garry Fabian

Exhibition poster

MELBOURNE, Australia — There are Child Holocaust Survivor Groups around the world to provide forums and support for Child survivors, now most of them aged in their 80’s and 90s.

In Australia they are loosely affiliated with their local Holocaust Museums and Educational Centers.

The Melbourne Child Survivors Group has created a new exhibition in conjunction with a local artist to creating a series of portraits of child Holocaust survivors hoping it will shine a light on the experiences of today’ trauma victims.

The exhibition, Tribute: Child Survivors of the Holocaust, featured portraits of 18 elderly Melbournians, whose World War II experiences included the murder of relatives, hiding from Nazis in a a cupboard, incarceration in ghettos and conzentration camps and near starvation.

The artist, Jeffery Kelson, painted each person’s portrait, but also sketched them as children from their photographs. The exhibition is designed to illustrate their resilience in forging new lives.

The artist said he hoped the exhibition shows children of trauma that you can survive and you can build a new life. He added that that it will also make people thing about children today living in war zones and detention centers.

I am one of the subjects because I am a survivor, having spent nearly three years of my childhood in the Theresienstadt (Terezin) Ghetto, where from 1941 – 1945, some 15,000 children under 14 were incarcerated. Of these, 120 survived when the ghetto was liberated in May 1945.

I migrated to Australia in 1947, and have built a new life here, and have become extensively involved in both the general and local Australian community over the last seven decades.
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Fabian is a freelance writer based in Melbourne.  He may be contacted via [email protected]

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