Holy Cross Hosts Exhibit Featuring Drawings by Holocaust Survivor Helga Weissova-Hoskova

Speaker at Opening Reception Knew Artist at Terezin Camp

January 27th, 2005 by College of the Holy Cross

WORCESTER, Mass. – An opening reception for “A Child Artist in Terezin: Witness to the Holocaust,” an exhibit featuring drawings by Helga Weissova-Hoskova, will be held on Feb. 9, 2005 from 4 – 6 p.m. in the Rehm Library of Smith Hall at the College of the Holy Cross.

The guest speaker at the event will be Edgar Krasa, of Newton, another Terezin survivor who shared a room with Hoskova in the ghetto.

Terezin, a city located northwest of Prague, was originally presented as an “old people’s camp” for elderly Jews. Indeed, Nazis tried to use Terezin for propaganda even producing a film titled “Führer Gives the Jews a Town.” Hitler sent Jews from Czechoslovakia, Germany, France, Netherlands and Belgium with the pretense they would be safer there. In reality, it was a place of starvation and brutality. Krasa and Hoskova are among an estimated 100 children from Terezin to survive.

Hoskova was born in Prague on Nov. 10, 1929. She was deported to the Terezin camp with her parents on Dec. 17, 1941. Her brushes and paints packed among her limited luggage, the 12-year-old Hoskova created a personal diary of her images of life in Terezin. She was sent to Auschwitz with her mother on Oct. 14, 1944, and then to the work camps at Freiberg and Mauthausen. She survived and returned to Prague, where she studied painting with the Czech artist Emil Filla. Hoskova lives and is still working as an artist in Prague. This collection of artwork chronicles life during the Holocaust seen through the eyes of a young artist facing an uncertain future.

Krasa volunteered to go to Terezin to work in the barracks. He later formed a chorus with follow prisoners as a means of forming resistance and lifting spirits. He was deported to Auschwitz and later liberated by the Russian army.

The drawings by Hoskova, on display since Jan. 19, are open to the public through March 18 in Smith Hall. Viewings hours are: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The exhibit is co-sponsored by the Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture, the Center for Interdisciplinary and Special Studies, and the Cantor Art Gallery.

The exhibit is in collaboration with Clark University’s Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies exhibit “Forging a New Life: The Jewish Experience in Central and Eastern Europe on the Cusp of a New Millennium.” The exhibit features photographs of Jewish communities from post-Communist countries by Karel Cudlin. An opening reception will be held Feb. 16, 4 – 6 p.m. in the Rose Library of the Cohen Lasry House at Clark.

The photos by Cudlin will be on display to the public from Feb. 16 – May 25 in the Cohen Lasry House at Clark. Viewings hours are: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sundays, 1 – 4 p.m.

For more information on Hoskova’s exhibit, call Holy Cross’ Center for Interdisciplinary and Special Studies at 508-793-2497.

For more information on Cudlin’s exhibit, call Clark University’s Center for Holocaust Studies at 508-793-8897.

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